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" And the idols he shall utterly abolish." Isaiah ii. 18. (See page 30.) 








Mat it please your Majesty, 

It is with feelings of the highest satisfaction that I avail myself of the permission 
graciously afforded me to dedicate this work to your Majesty. 

Your Majesty's illustrious Family has especial claims upon the gratitude of the 
friends of Missions for the fostering countenance it has uniformly extended to their 
operations. The Society with which I have the honour to he connected enjoyed from 
its commencement, in the year 1795, the gracious approbation of your Majesty's 
Royal Father ; and the Directors were allowed to dedicate to him the first Narrative 
of their labours among the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands. Your Majesty's 
Royal Brother, when on the throne of these realms, graciously signified His attach- 
ment to the objects of the Society, by an act of princely munificence, and by per- 
mitting the Journal of their Deputation to be published under his auspices. 

Since the accession of your Majesty to the throne, the readiness evinced by your 
Government to aid the benevolent design of Missions to the heathen, induces the 
assurance that your Majesty cherishes sentiments in perfect unison with those ex- 
pressed by your august Predecessors. 

It is, therefore, with grateful confidence that I accept the permission, so graciously 
afforded, to inscribe this Work to your Majesty. I trust it will be found that the 
facts it records are not unworthy of the attention, as I am persuaded, the object it 
seeks to promote is not unworthy of the patronage, of the enlightened Sovereign of 
the greatest nation upon earth. 

I embrace this public occasion to assure your Majesty, on behalf of my brethren 
as well as myself, that, although removed to the antipodes, the Missionaries in the 
Islands of the Pacific Ocean cherish a loyal affection for your Person and Government, 
and feel as lively an interest in the welfare of their native land as any of your Majesty's 
subjects ; and that, in prosecuting the one great object to which their lives are con- 
secrated, they will keep in view whatever may promote the Commerce and the Science, 
as well as the Religious glory, of their beloved Country. 

Offering the dutiful homage of my devoted coadjutors and myself to your Majesty, 
I have the honour to subscribe myself, 
Your Majesty's 
Obliged servant, and loyal subject, 

a 2 


While the Author of the following pages has endeavoured to compose a volume that 
will be generally interesting and instructive, and to publish it in a form at once cheap 
and elegant, his principal design has been to secure a permanent record of facts, to 
which history can furnish but few parallels. In the prosecution of his task, however, 
the Author has experienced difficulties which he did not anticipate at its commence- 
ment. Having travelled a hundred thousand miles, and spent eighteen years in 
promoting the spread of the Gospel, he has gathered a mass of materials, from which 
he could have composed many volumes with greater ease than one ; and his chief 
difficulty has been so to select, compress and arrange his facts as to form out of them 
a continuous Narrative, in which the details should be given with as much brevity 
as would consist with faithful description. It would have been comparatively easy 
to have filled the volume with general statements, instead of descending to minute 
particulars ; but mere outlines and sketches could convey a very inadequate impres- 
sion of the state of society and the progress of Christianity among the people for 
whose welfare he has laboured. He has therefore endeavoured as exactly as possible 
to describe the scenes he has witnessed as they appeared to himself, and to give upon 
the pages of his narrative a cast of the images and impressions which exist in his 
mind. With this view, he has preserved the dialogues, in which much of his know- 
ledge was obtained, and has not spoken for the natives, but allowed them to speak 
for themselves. In doing this, he has carefully avoided the use of terms and phrases 
which are current among nations more advanced in the scale of intelligence and 
civilization, and the employment of which might lead the reader to form a higher 
estimate of the state of society in the South Sea Islands than facts would warrant; 
and he has been equally careful to convey native ideas in the phraseology and under 
the figurative garb in which they were expressed. This he has been enabled to do, 
not only from an intimate knowledge of the habits of thought and modes of com- 
munication with which they are familiar, but more especially from the circumstance 
of his having kept a minute record of most of the interviews and events which the 
following pages describe. In a word, the Author has endeavoured to take his reader 
with him to each of the islands he has visited ; to make him familiar with their 
chiefs and people ; to show him what a Missionary life is ; and to awaken in his mind 
emotions similar to those which successively filled his own. 

In the course of the Narrative, but more especially in the concluding chapters, some 
observations will be found upon the origin, structure, and productions of those lovely 
islands at which the Author has resided. As, however, his days have been 
devoted, not to the study of geology, nor to the pursuits of the naturalist, but to 
the work of a Missionary, the curious and scientific must not censure him for 
contributing to their stores so small a portion of information. While he would not 
underrate the talents, the diligence, and the discoveries of those who have chosen for 
themselves such paths, he always felt that he had a much nobler work to perform. 
Still he hopes that the facts he has presented will throw some light upon the forma- 
tion, the natural history, and the botany of those isles of the Pacific ; and, should the 


providence of God permit him to revisit the scenes of his former labours, and to ex- 
plore others on which the eyes of a Christian Missionary never rested, he purposes to 
make observations, and to collect specimens to a very much greater extent than before. 
To two points, especially, he intends to devote some attention. In the first place, 
he will endeavour to gather from those comparatively unexplored fields of botanical 
research a complete hortus siccus ; and, in the second place, to make a variety of 
experiments upon corals and coral formations, for the purpose of ascertaining the 
mode of their construction, and the rapidity of their growth. 

While it is cheering to observe the triumphs which the cause of Missions has 
gained, not only abroad, but at home, and the high estimate in which Missionary 
exertions are now held by many who a few years since despised and decried them, 
it is yet to be lamented that there are few of the wise and the noble amongst us who 
countenance and contribute to the work. To what can this be ascribed ? Not surely 
to anything in the Missionary enterprise which could dishonour or degrade those 
who identify themselves with it. Regarded in the lowest view in which it can be 
considered as an apparatus for overthrowing puerile, debasing, and cruel supersti- 
tions ; for raising a large portion of our species in the scale of being ; and for intro- 
ducing amongst them the laws, the order, the usages, the arts, and the comforts of 
civilized life it presents a claim, the force and obligation of which every one who 
makes pretensions to intelligence, philanthropy, or even common humanity, ought 
to admit; and, if evidence in support of this claim be demanded, the Author ven- 
tures confidently to assert that it will be found in the following pages. This, how- 
ever, is taking but low ground. The Missionary enterprise regards the whole globe 
as its sphere of operation. It is founded upon the grand principles of Christian 
benevolence, made imperative by the command of the ascending Saviour, and has 
for its primary object to roll away from six hundred millions of the race of Adam 
the heavy curse which rests upon them ; to secure their elevation to the dignity of 
intelligent creatures and children of God ; to engage their thoughts in the contem- 
plation, and to gladden their hearts with the prospects, of immortality; to make 
known " the way of life " through the meritorious sufferings of the Redeemer; in 
a word, " to fill the whole eairth with the glory of the Lord." Surely, to be iden- 
tified with such an object must confer dignity on the highest stations, and throw 
lustre around the most brilliant talents. If, then, there be nothing in the Mission- 
ary enterprise to account for the indifference of the more opulent and literary of our 
country men, but everything to condemn it, we are led to the conclusion that such 
a state of things must be ascribed to the circumstance that the important subject has 
not been brought sufficiently under their attention. The Author scarcely indulges 
the hope that a Narrative with so few pretensions to literary excellence will meet 
the eye of those to whom his remarks refer, but he would ardently desire that they 
might be induced to ponder the facts which his pages record ; persuaded that, if not 
altogether insensible to the claims of God and man, they would be led thereby to 
honour and support the institutions whose imperishable names will fill one of the 
brightest pages of history, and live amongst the purest and best recollections of " the 
spirits of just men made perfect." 

The candid reader will throw the mantle of kindness over the numerous defects 
which may appear in the execution of his work, when he recollects that the greater 
portion of the Author's life has been devoted either to active labour, or to the study 

a 3 


of uncultivated dialects, the idiom, abruptness, and construction of which are more 
familiar to him than the words and phrases the grace and force of his native tongue. 
He has aimed at nothing beyond furnishing a simple and unadorned narrative of 
facts; and, did he not believe that the interest of these facts would compensate for 
every deficiency, he should have shrunk from the position which he has been induced 
to occupy. 

The Author has availed himself of the kind assistance of the Rev. Dr. Reed, of 
London, and the Rev. E. Prout, of Halstead, to both of whom he is indebted for 
many valuable suggestions. 

In conclusion, the Author would commit this volume to the blessing of that God, 
the wonders of whose Providence, and the triumphs of whose Gospel, he has endea- 
voured to record. After a life so marked by the Divine favour, he " could not but 
speak the things which he had seen and heard ;" and, whatever reception may await 
his volume, he will rejoice in its publication, and close his earthly existence with the 
delightful satisfaction of having discharged a sacred obligation, by recording facts 
which alike redound to the honour of God and illustrate the power of his Gospel. 


In introducing to the Public, at this early period, the fifth thousand of his Nar- 
rative of Missionary Enterprises, the Author avails himself of the opportunity thus 
afforded of acknowledging, with feelings of lively gratitude, the encouraging appro- 
bation with which his Volume has been so generally received. To many Noblemen, 
scientific and other Gentlemen, as well as to several Dignitaries and Clergymen of 
the Establishment, he is under great obligations for the opinion they have been 
pleased to express of the merits of his Narrative. To his own brethren in the 
Ministry, as well as to Ministers of other denominations, the Author would tender 
his thanks for their kindness in recommending the Work to the people of their respec- 
tive charges. Ke begs, also, to present his grateful acknowledgments to the Editors 
of a number of highly respectable literary, scientific, and religious Periodicals, and 
also to the Gentlemen conducting most of the leading Journals of the day, for the 
very favourable notice they have taken of his Volume. In preparing the present 
Edition for the press, the Author has availed himself of the suggestions of several 
of the Reviewers, and begs to express his high sense of the gentlemanly and Chris- 
tian spirit in which those suggestions were offered, especially those in the Monthly 
Review. Commending his Volume once more to the blessing of God, and the patron- 
age of a kind and discerning Public, the Author again embarks upon an extensive 
and arduous expedition, cheered by the assurance that he has a share in the prayers 
and sympathies of British Christians, and entertains a pleasing hope that he shall 
be privileged to see the inhabitants of many more islands turned from darkness to 
light, by the transforming influence of the Gospel of Christ. 




A Mission to the Islesof the Pacific resolved 
upon The Voyages of CaptainWallis and 

Cook The hand of Divine Providence 
recognized The importance of the Mis- 
sion The Duffs first Voyage Account 
of Captain "Wilson. The Capture of the 
Duff Discouraging state of the Mission 
Extraordinary Circumstances under 
which success commences . 


Geographical Description of the Hervey Is- 
lands Geological Character of the Is- 
lands generally Their Classification 
The Object for* which, and the Spirit in 
which, Knowledge should be sought 
On Coral Formations Reefs and Islands 
not the work of Insects . . 


Voyage to New South "Wales The remark- 
able Circumstances under which the Gos- 
pel was introduced at Rurutu His Ma- 
jesty King George the Fourth remits the 
Duty on the first cargo of Native Pro- 
duce The "Wreck of the Ship Falcon at 
Rurutu Honesty of the Natives Ex- 
hibition of Idols The Aitutaki Mission 
commenced .... 


Mission to Aitutaki Tradition about Ra- 
rotonga Voyage of Messrs. Bourne and 
the Author Success at Aitutaki Our 
Intercourse with the People Informa- 
tion about Rarotonga Search for it 
Papeiha's Narrative 


Papeiha's Narrative continued Remark- 
able Incidents at Tahiti Effect upon the 
Aitutakians at seeing Lime burnt Un- 
successful search for Rarotonga Go to 
Mangaia Incidents there Abandon it, 
in consequence of tbe cruel Treatment of 
the Missionaries' Wives 


Visit to Atiu Conversion of the King 
The Power of Scripture Truth The Dis- 
covery of Mauke Introduction of Chris- 
tianity into it and Mitiaro Lord Byron's 
Testimony Regard to the Sabbath-day 
by a Native Crew Go again in search of 
Rarotonga .... 






Rarotonga discovered Pleasing and dis- 
tressing Incidents there Papeiha's de- 
voted Conduct Conversation between a 
Native Sailor and the King Remark- 
able Account of a Heathen "Woman 
Return Home Exhibition of the Idols 
Native Speeches, &c. 

Mr. Bourne's Voyage Accompanied by 
Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, with Mrs. "Wil- 
liams and Family, the Author sails for 
Rarotonga Dangers experienced in 
landing Idols delivered up Chapel 
erected "Writing on a Chip ; the "Won- 
der it excited Mr. Pitman's narrow 
Escape Books prepared in the Language 
A Sabbath at Rarotonga 


The Adoption of a Code of Laws by the 
People of Rarotonga To what extent a 
Missionary should interfere in Civil Af- 
fairs A Conspiracy, with its Results 
Difficulties at Rarotonga arising from 
Polygamy and other Heathen Usages 
the Character of "Works expected from 
the Pen of a Missionary 


Mrs. "Williams's Illness She gives her Con- 
sent to the Author visiting the Samoa 
Islands Resolve to build a Ship Make 
a Pair of Bellows Deficiencies in Books 
upon the useful Arts The Rats eat. the 
Bellows Make a Pair of Wooden Ones 
Messenger of Peace completed Voy- 
age to Aitutaki The King accompanies 
the Author Return with a singular Car- 
go Pleasing Incidents on our Arrival . 



Mr. Buzacott's arrival Receive Letters 
from England from the Rev. Matthew 
"Wilks, &c. Also from Raiatea Charac- 
ter and Death of Tuahine The Author 
leaves Rarotonga Useful Arts intro- 
duced among the People Voyage from 
Rarotonga to Tahiti Makea's Return . 

Papeiha's Narrative Ideas of the People 
on seeing him read Arrival of his Col- 
league Arrangements for increased Ex- 
ertion The Success which attended 







their Efforts Ludicrous Incidents with a 
Cat First Place of Worship erected 
War with the Heathens The entire Sub- 
version of Idolatry at Rarotonga War 
at Raiatea Accusations of Professor 
Lee . . . .45 


Tradition How the Rarotongans first ob- 
tained their knowledge of the Europeans 
They pray to their Gods that Ships 
may visit their Island A Ship, supposed 
to be the Bounty, arrives The Tides 
The unsoundness of Captain Beechy's 
Theory Peculiarities of Rarotonga 
Buteve the Cripple Their Wars, Savage 
Usages, &c. Female Degradation 
Grades in Society, &c. . . 51 


Mr. Piatt's Voyage Intelligence from Ra- 
rotonga The Vincennes and the Sering- 
apatam arrive at Raiatea Missionary 
Meetings Native Speeches Interesting 
Interview with Captain Waldegrave 
Preparations for our Voyage . . 56 


Sail for the Navigators' Islands Touch at 
the Hervey group Mangaia Native 
Service War between the Christians 
and Heathens Usages of the Mangaians 
in War The Author's Advice solicited 
on various Topics Female Degradation 
New Chapel opened Last Visit to 
Mangaia Remarkable Providence 
War prevented . . . .63 


Atiu Religious Services there Devoted- 
ness of the Teachers' Wives The Au- 
thor's narrow Escape Distressing Situa- 
tion Fishing Excursion Superb Cavern 
Mauke and Mitiaro A dreadful Mas- 
sacre Rarotonga An Epidemic rages 

-Aitutaki Interesting Incidents Na- 
tive Contributions 



Leave Aitutaki Savage Island Difficulty 
in obtaining Intercourse Savage Ap- 
pearance of the People Reach Tonga- 
tabu Cordial Reception by the Wesleyan 
Missionaries Account of their Labours 
Arrangement entered into with them 
A Sabbath at Tonga Meet with Fauea 
Productions . . . .77 


Hapai Islands Volcanic Island Escape 
Shipwreck Finau's Despotism A la- 
mentable Account of a Native Teacher 
History of the Introduction of Chris- 
tianity at the Hapai Islands The intrepid 
Conduct of the Chief Idols hung . . 81 



Sail for the Navigators Fauea expresses 
his fears about Tamafainga Reach Savaii 
Astonishment of the Natives at seeing 
Europeans Tamafainga killed Charac- 
ter of Fauea Intercourse with the Na- 
tives Most favourable Reception The 
War Malietoa The Author's narrow 
Escape . . . . .85 


An Interesting Meeting Interchange of 
Presents Ceremonies observed on the 
Occasion A display of noble Feeling 
between the two Brothers A newly- 
purchased Bride Marriage Ceremony 
Female Degradation Matetau His 
Person his desire for a Missionary Re- 
marks Fauea's Character . . 89 


Compelled by contrary wind to leave Sa- 
vage Island Arrival at Rarotonga Visit 
to Arorangi Beauty of the Settlement 
Arrival at Rurutu Incidents there Ar- 
rival at Tahiti Visit to Afareaitu 
Meeting there Vara's Character and 
Death Me The Warrior and the Drop 
of Blood . . . .93 


Distress at Raiatea Tamatoa His Cha- 
racter and Death Sail again for Raro- 
tonga New Chapel Beautiful Appear- 
ance of the Settlement Makea's Gene- 
rosity Ancient Usages revived The 
Effects of a Discourse A Hurricane 
Mrs. Buzacott's Distress Mrs. Wil- 
liams's narrow Escape A Thousand 
Houses destroyed The Island devas- 
tated .97 


The Messenger of Peace driven on Shore 
The Effect of the Hurricane upon the 
minds of the People The Death of our 
Seventh Babe More Disasters A great 
Feast Singular Ceremony in apportion- 
ing the Food Five Calamities Value 
of Ironmongery TheMessenger of Peace 
repaired and launched Voyage to 
Tahiti, &c. Evils of Ardent Spirits 
The Destruction of the Stills Establish- 
ment of Temperance Societies Return 
to Rarotonga Introduction of Horses, 
Cattle, &c. . . . .102 


Second Visit to the Navigators The Ava's 
Prayer Arrival at Manua Salutations 
of the People Find some Raivavaians 
Orosenga and Ofu The Desire every- 
where expressed for Missionaries Sail 
for Tutuila Interesting Interview at 
Leone Bay The Author carried on 
Shore A Chief prays upon the Deck 
Runaway Sailors baptising the People ll/6 





Arrival at Manono JoyofMatetau Reach 
Savaii Sabbath Services there Malie- 
toa's Address Interview between Makea 
and Malietoa An important Meeting 
held Makea's Speech Malietoa's Re- 
plies to the Author's Questions The 
Teacher's Narrative Consultation with 
the Teachers Advice given upon various 
important Topics Snakes Earth- 
quakes ..... 110 

Yisit to Amoa A beautiful Settlement A 
Company of Female Christians Their 
Appearance The Chapel erected by 
themselves Visit to Malava Disagree- 
ment between Matetau and Malietoa 
An intelligent young Chief Sail for Ma- 
nono Curious Incidents on Board Re- 
conciliation effected between the Chiefs 115 


Runaway Convicts, &c. Tragical Occur- 
rences Retributive Justice Two Ves- 
sels taken at Heathen Islands Kindness 
of English Captains Meet with the 
Widow of Puna Her Narrative Ship 
springs a Leak Danger to which we were 
exposed Vavau Its Dreariness Ar- 
rival at Tonga Character and Labours 
of the Wesleyan Missionaries Reach 
Rarotonga Flourishing State of the 
Stations and the Schools The Ingenuity 
of the Children in procuring Slates and 
Pencils Letter of one of the Children ] 1 9 

Discovery of tha Samoa Group French 
Navigators Names of the Islands Kot- 
zebue Manua Orosenga Ofu Tu- 
tuila Upolu Manono Aborima 
Savaii Importance of the Group Eligi- 
bility for a British Settlement Soil 
Trees Various Uses of the Candle-nut, 
Bread-fruit, and Cocoa-nut Trees Bo- 
tany of the Islands M. Betero Birds 
Vampire Bat Snakes and Lizards Fish 
Fishing Turtle . . .125 


Distinct Races of Polynesians Islands in- 
habited by each Race Malay Origin of fee 
Inhabitants of Eastern Polynesia Rea- 
sons for this Theory Three Objections 
answered Origin of the Inhabitants of 
Western Polynesia doubtful Conjectures 
respecting them Spiritual Condition of 
the two Races Phjsical Character of 
the Eastern Polynesians Superiority of 
the Chiefs, with Reasons for it Intel- 
lectual Capacities of the People Opi- 

p age 
nions of themselves Mental Pecu- 
liarities Wit and Humour Proverbs 
and Similes Ingenuity Good Sense 
Eloquence Desire of Knowledge In- 
fluence of Religion upon the Intellect 
Appropriate Use of Scripture . . 130 


The two Languages of the South Sea 
Islanders The eight Dialects of the 
Eastern Polynesians Comparison of 
each Dialect with the Tahitian Tabular 
View of the Differences between them 
Their Precision and Perfection Nice 
Distinctions in the Pronouns Causative 
Verb Pronunciation Introduction of 
New Words Government Power of 
the Chiefs Punishment of Theft Wars 
Their frequency Weapons Canni- 
balism not practised by the Samoans 
Amusements . . . .136 


Religion of the Polynesians Difference 
between the Superstitions of the Samoans 
and the other Islanders Objects of Wor- 
ship Deified Ancestors -Dedication of 
Children the Christian and Heathen 
Mother Idols Etus Tangaloa 
Modes of Worship Invocations Muti- 
lations Human Sacrifices Occasions 
for which they were required Mode of 
procuring them Affecting Incidents 
Future State Terms of Admission to 
their Paradise Cruel Rite of the Fijians 
Prevalence of Infanticide Illustra- 
tions of this Contrast between the 
former and present State of the Children 
Scene at School Anniversary Reco- 
very of a Daughter Alleged Reasons 
for Infanticide Method of performing it 
Necessity for, and Power of, the Gospel 142 


Providential Interpositions at the Samoas 
Rapid Progress of the Gospel De- 
bates on the Subject Native Arguments 
Extraordinary Preparations of the 
People; Rarotonga Striking Contrast 
between its Condition in 1823 and 1834 
Recent Intelligence from Mr. Pitman 
Various Temporal Advantages of Mis- 
sionary Labours Useful Arts', Anima-ls, 
and Vegetable Productions introduced 
into the Islands Prospective Advantages 
Connexion of Christianity and Civili- 
zation Commercial Benefit of Missions 
Safety to Shipping Dangers to which 
Seamen are exposed where there are no 
Missionaries Instances Missions com- 
mended to the Statesman The Philo- 
sopher The Nobleman . 148 





" As the union of Christians of various denominations in carrying on this great 
work is a most desirable object, so to prevent, if possible, any cause of future 
dissension, it is declared to be a fundamental principle of the Missionary 
Society, that its design is not to send Presbyterianism, Independency, Episcopacy, 
or any other form of church order and government (about which there may be 
difference of opinions among serious persons), but the glorious Gospel of the blessed 
God, to the heathen ; and that it shall be left (as it ought to be left) to the minds of 
the persons whom God mav call into the fellowship of his Son from among them, 
to assume for themselves such form of Church government as to them shall appear 
most agreeable to the word of God." 

In introducing this Volume to the public, I avail myself of the opportunity it 
affords me to say, that, after twenty years' connexion with this Institution I have 
never known its fundamental principle violated. I have never received any com- 
munication, either directly or indirectly, as to the mode of Church government that 
I should adopt ; nor am I aware that any of my coadjutors have. The only charge 
given to me by the Directors of the Society was, to make known the way of salvation, 
as consummated by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. 



Portrait of the Author 
Map ....... 1 

Three Islands of different formations 6 7 

Conveying the Idols to the Boat . . 17 

An Idol, and the Snare for catching a God 18 
Idols . . . . . . .31 

Wooden Bellows . . . . .39 

The Messenger of Peace, with her mat- 
sails, &c. . . . . . .43 

The Sugar Mill 44 

Carved Adzes . . . . .69 

The Boat upset at Atin . . . .70 

The Natives catch Flying-fish . .72 

Mrs. "Williams and the Children going over 
the Reef . . . . . . 73 I 

An Idol suspended hy its neck . 

The Messenger of Peace off the Samoas 

Chapel and Scenery at Arorangi 

Interview at Leone Bay 

The Messenger of Pence hove down 

Mr. Buzacott's Residence . . 

The Author's Residence 

The Echinus .... 

The Mantis ..... 

"War "Weapons .... 

Native Cap of Aitutaki . 

Plate of various Articles of Native Manu 

facture ..... 
Portrait of Papeiha . . . 

Portrait of Makea .... 














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A Mission to the Isles of the Pacific resolved upon the 
Voyages of Captains Wallis and Cook the hand of 
Divine Providence recognised The importance of the 
Mission The Duffs first voyage Account of Captain 
Wilson The Capture of the Duff Discouraging State 
of the Mission Extraordinary Circumstances under 
which Success commences. 

The venerable fathers and founders of the 
London Missionary Society, after having aroused 
the attention of the Christian public to the im- 
portant duty of extending the knowledge and 
blessings of the Gospel, proceeded to the consi- 
deration of the very important and difficult 
question, " In what part of the world they 
should commence their work of mercy 1" The 
late excellent Dr. Haweis, Rector of All Saints, 
Aldwinkle, and Chaplain to the late Countess 
of Huntingdon, who was one of the founders of 
the Society, the father of the South Sea Mission, 
and among its most liberal supporters, was re- 
quested to prepare a " Memorial" upon the 
subject, which was delivered at Surrey Chapel. 
In the course of his address, he says, " The 
field before us is immense ! O that we could 
enter at a thousand gates ! that every limb 
were a tongue, and every tongue a trumpet, to 
spread the joyful sound ! Where so consider- 
able a part of the habitable globe on every side 
calls for our efforts, and, like the man of Mace- 
donia, cries, ' Come over and help us,' it is not 
a little difficult to decide at what part to begin." 
The learned and venerable doctor then pro- 
ceeded, with all the warmth of his ardent and 
cultivated mind, in a lucid and masterly style, 
to draw a comparison between the climates, the 
means of support, the government, the language, 
and the religion of heathen countries ; and con- 
cluded that, of all the " dark places of the 
earth," the South Sea Islands presented the 
tewebt difficulties, and the fairest prospects of 
success. The result of Dr. Haweis's able advo 
cacy was a unanimous resolution, on the part 
of the Directors and friends, to commence their 
mission among the numerous and far-distant 
islands of the Southern Ocean ; and, with the 
exception of the estimate of the population of 
Tahiti, I am astonished at the general correct- 
ness of his information. 

Those great and good men appear to have 
had the pleasing impression that they were 
acting under the guidance of the Spirit of God ; 
for one of their number, in his almost prophetic 
discourse, after having enumerated the various 
No. 1. 

difficulties that had been overcome and the 
numerous facilities that had been unexpectedly 
afforded, says,* " Thus the providence of God, 
in an unusual manner, seems to conspire with 
the Spirit of God ; everything favours, nothing 
impedes the design." Subsequent events, I 
think, evidently confirm the correctness of this 
impression ; for, from the very commencement 
of the mission to the present day, the leadings 
of Divine Providence have been remarkably 
developed, and the interpositions of the Re- 
deemer's power both frequent and striking. 
The discovery of so many beautiful islands just 
before that wonderful period, when, amidst the 
throes of kingdoms, and the convulsions of the 
civilized world, a gracious influence was simul- 
taneously shed in so surprising a way on the 
minds of thousands of British Christians, can- 
not fail to convince every thinking person that 
the undertaking was of God. So great was 
the liberality, that, in a short time, ten thousand 
pounds were subscribed ; and such an amazing 
spirit of prayer was diffused, as clearly indicated 
that the Spirit of God was at work, and that 
some mighty movement was about to take place 
for the wider extension of the Redeemer's 

It was not until the year 1767, that Captain 
Wallis, commander of his Majesty's ship Dol- 
phin, when crossing the comparatively untra- 
versed waters of the Southern Pacific Ocean, 
discovered the splendid island of Tahiti, which 
has since occupied so promhient a place in the 
annals of Missionary enterprise. Little did its 
discoverer think, when hoisting the broad 
pennant on the Tahitian shores, and taking 
possession of the island in the name of his 
sovereign, King George III., that in a few short 
years the Missionary, sent by the liberality and 
sustained by the prayers of British Christians, 
would follow in his track, search for the lovely 
spot he had discovered, unfurl another banner, 
and take possession of that and other islands in 
the name of the King of kings. This has been 
eifected under the guidance of Him 

'* Who plants his footsteps in the sea ;" 

for the providence of God has evidently con- 
spired with the Spirit of God in the accom- 
plishment of this great work. 

A year or two after the voyage of Captain 
Wallis, Tahiti was visited by that truly great 

See a Sermon, by the Rev. T. Pentycross, A. M. f 
Vicar of St. Mary, Wallingford. 



man Captain Cook, whose name I never 
mention but with feelings of veneration and 
regret. His objects were purely scientific. 
His first voyage was undertaken to observe 
the transit of the planet Venus, the Royal 
Society having represented to King George III. 
that important services would be rendered to 
the interests of science by the appointment of 
properly-qualified individuals to observe that 
phenomenon. The second was in search of a 
southern continent, which, at that time, was a 
favourite object of geographical speculation. 
The third and last was to endeavour to find a 
passage from the Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean. 
By the important discoveries made in these 
successive voyages, a new world was opened to 
the view of all Europe ; for beside New Holland 
and New Guinea, almost innumerable islands 
were found to exist, bestudding the bosom of 
the vast Pacific with their beauties. 

The wonderful accounts published respecting 
these newly-discovered regions very naturally 
excited unprecedented and almost universal 
interest. The climate was represented as most 
salubrious : the cold of winter was never known, 
and the heat of a tropical country was alleviated 
by breezes from the ocean. The scenery of the 
islands was represented as most enchanting : 
their productions most wonderful : and the 
manners and customs of the inhabitants as alto- 
gether novel and peculiar. The universal inte- 
rest excited by these representations is, therefore, 
not a matter of wonder. The mind of the late 
excellent Countess of Huntingdon was deeply 
affected by the account of the inhabitants of 
these interesting islands, and she was anxiously 
desirous that the Gospel, with all its attendant 
blessings, might be conveyed to them. I be- 
lieve her dying charge to her beloved chaplain, 
Dr. Haweis, was, never to lose sight of this 

While we respect the enterprising spirit of 
the philosophers at whose instigation the voyages 
were undertaken, as well as admire the daring 
and adventurous energy and skill of those indi- 
viduals by whom they were performed, we re- 
cognise the hand of One who is wonderful in 
counsel and excellent in working ; the move- 
ments of whose providence have ever been sub- 
servient to the triumphs of his Gospel; and 
who, by all this work of preparation, just at 
this particular time, was showing clearly to his 
people that it was his intention that those far dis- 
tant islanders should be visited by the Gospel ; 
that there the interesting experiment of its 
power to ameliorate the condition of anignorant, 
barbarous, and demoralized race should be 
tried ; that, by the triumphs it should achieve, 
its moral energy should be demonstrated ; that 
present and succeeding ages should see that the 
Gospel alone was " mighty to the pulling down 
of strongholds ;" and that there was, at least, 
one means by which uncivilized nations might 
be constrained to bless, rather than execrate, 
the day when civilized men first landed on their 
shores. To what else can we attribute such a 

* The representations of Dr. Haweis, doubtless, pro- 
duced this impression upon the Countess's mind. 

confluence of new and unparalleled circum- 
stances just at this period? 

Notwithstanding all that has been effected in 
the Tahitian and Society Islands, in transform- 
ing their barbarous, indolent, and idolatrous 
inhabitants into a comparatively civilized, in- 
dustrious, and Christian people, I never con- 
sidered this group alone as worthy the lives and 
labours of the number of Missionaries who have 
been employed there. It is only by viewing 
the Tahitian mission as a fountain from whence 
the streams of salvation are to flow to the nume- 
rous islands and clusters scattered over that 
extensive ocean, that we can perceive it to be 
worthy of the importance that has been attached 
to it, or of the labour and expense which the 
London Missionary Society has bestowed upon 
it. To this mission, however, considered in its 
relation to other islands, too much importance 
cannot be attached ; for, in addition to 
the numerous islands now professedly Chris- 
tian, there are, within a comparatively small 
distance, many large and extensive groups of 
which little is known. Among these are the 
Fiji, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Solo- 
mon's Archipelago, New Britain, New Ireland, 
and, above all, the immense island of New 
Guinea. This island is said to be 1200 miles 
in length, and, in some parts, about 300 in 
breadth. It is reported to be a most beautiful 
island, rich in all the productions of a tropical 
climate, inhabited by several millions of im- 
mortal beings, suffering all the terrific miseries 
of a barbarous state, and dying without a know- 
ledge of God, or the Gospel of his Son. The 
Fiji is an extensive group, said to comprise 
from 100 to 200 islands, which vary in size from 
five to 500 miles in circumference all teeming 
with inhabitants, in the most degraded and 
wretched state of barbarism. 

These various islands and clusters are inha- 
bited by distinct tribes, diverse from each other 
in appearance and habits ; but principally by 
those of the negro race. They are men of 
immense stature, with black complexion, spread- 
ing noses, and crisped hair ; decidedly distinct 
from those inhabiting all the islands to the 
eastward, who are distinguished by their light 
copper colour, Malay countenance, and straight 
hair. I sincerely hope that the London, or 
some other Missionary Society, or the Societies 
unitedly, will adopt some effective measures, 
by which these extensive and inviting fields 
may be brought under moral culture. It will, 
no doubt, be attended with much danger, as 
some of the inhabitants are cannibals of the 
worst character ; others of ferocious habits and 
cruel practices, using poisoned arrows, and 
poisoning the very food they bring to sell, and 
even the water which is taken from their shores ; 
whilst others are mild in their manner, and 
kind in their treatment of strangers. The ad- 
venturous trader, however, braves all these 
dangers ; and shall the devoted Missionary of 
the Cross, whose object infinitely surpasses in 
importance that of the merchant, and who pro- 
fesses to be influenced by motives of a higher 
order, be afraid to face them 1 Has he not the 


arm of Omnipotence for his protection, and the 
promises of a faithful God for his encourage- 

The places to which the Gospel has already 
been conveyed from tl e Tahitian and Society 
Islands, are the Sandwich Island group, 3000 
miles to the north of Tahiti, inhabited by a 
population of 150,000 souls ; the Austral 
Islands, a group 400 miles to the south : the 
Paumotu, the Gambier, and the Marquesan, 
to the eastward ; together with the Hervey, 
the Navigators, and the Friendly Islands, to 
the westward. These various groups are inha- 
bited by a population little short, I think, of 
300,000 persons ; the greater part of whom 
have abandoned idolatry, with all its barbarous 
practices, its horrid rites, and superstitious cus- 
toms. Their sanguinary wars have ceased ; 
the altars of their gods are not now stained 
with the blood of human beings offered up in 
sacrifice ; and mothers have ceased to destroy 
their innocent babes. Captain Cook and his 
scientific associates little thought, when observ- 
ing the transit of the star, that in a few short 
years the island on which they stood would 
itself shine resplendent, like a bright speck in 
the midst of the ocean, whence the light of sal- 
vation was to diverge in all directions over that 
mighty mass of waters. 

The fathers and founders of the London 
Missionary Society began their labours upon 
an extensive scale. They purchased a ship, 
and sent out no less than twenty-five labourers 
to commence missions simultaneously at the 
Marquesan, Tahitian, and Friendly Islands. 
The vessel returned after a most successful 
voyage ; the Missionaries having been settled, 
and everything having succeeded to the wishes 
and expectations of the friends and Directors of 
the benevolent scheme. This, in a great mea- 
sure, may be attributed to the skill of Captain 
Wilson, whom God raised up, and, by a series 
of events almost without a parallel in the his- 
tory of man, qualified to take charge of the ex- 
pedition. When in India, after having ren- 
dered invaluable sendees to the British army, 
he was unfortunately taken by the French ; 
and, upon receiving intelligence that Suffrein 
had basely accepted a bribe from Hyder Ally 
to deliver the English prisoners into his hands, 
he determined to effect his escape, which he 
did by leaping from the prison-walls, a height 
not less than forty feet. In his flight, the vast 
Coleroon, a river full of alligators, obstructed 
his passage ; but, ignorant of the danger he was 
encountering, he plunged into its waters, and 
swam to the opposite shore. Flattering him- 
self that his perils were passed, and his liberty 
secured, he ascended an eminence to survey the 
surrounding country, when, to his terror and 
surprise, he was perceived by some of Hyder 
Ally's peons, who galloped towards him, seized 
him, stripped him naked, tied his hands behind 
his back, and, fastening a rope to them, drove 
him before them to head-quarters. 

When interrogated by one of Hyder Ally's 
chieftains, he gave an ingenuous account of his 
escape from the prison at Cuddalore. The 

chieftain immediately charged him with false- 
hood, adding, that no mortal man had ever 
swam over the Coleroon, and that, if he had 
but dipped his fingers in its waters, he would 
have been seized by the alligators. Upon being 
convinced, however, of the fact, they all gazed 
with astonishment, and the Turk exclaimed, 
" This is God's man ! " 

After this he was chained to a common sol 
dier, and driven naked, barefoot, and wounded, 
a distance of 500 miles. He was at length 
loaded with irons of thirty-two pounds weight, 
and thrust into a horrible prison called the 
Black Hole ; and while there, so great at times 
was the raging of hunger, that his jaws snapped 
involuntarily when his scanty meal was brought 
to him. Often the corpse was unchained from 
his arm in the morning, that another living 
sufferer might take its place, and fall by the 
same merciless treatment. 

That he should survive such accumulated 
misery for twenty-two months, was next to a 
miracle. At length the monster Hyder Ally 
was subdued, and the doors of the Black Hole 
were thrown open, when, emaciated, naked, 
half-starved, and covered with ulcers, with 
thirty-one companions, who alone remained to 
tell the dismal tale of their sufferings, Captain 
Wilson obtained deliverance. At a subsequent 
period, when at Bencoolen, every European in 
the ship he commanded died! Yet during all 
this time his heart continued hardened, and he 
knew not the hand that preserved him. 

Having been successful in his mercantile 
pursuits, he resolved to return to England, and 
sit down content. With this view be embarked 
in the same ship in which the excellent Mr. 
Thomas, one of the Baptist Missionaries, was 
returning to England. Mr. Wilson, being still 
an infidel in principle, had frequent disputes 
with Mr. Thomas, who one day remarked to 
the chief officer of the vessel, that he should 
have much more hope of converting the Lascars 
to Christianity than Captain Wilson ; so deeply 
mysterious, at times, are the ways of Providence. 
But things impossible to man are possible with 
God ; for at length, by a series of most interest- 
ing incidents, he was induced to abandon his 
infidel principles, and became an eminent and 
devoted Christian. 

After some years of uninterrupted enjoyment 
of the comforts around him, a number of the 
Evangelical Magazine, communicating some em- 
bryo views of the mission to the South Seas, fell 
into his hands, which immediately gave rise to the 
suggestion, that, if his services were either 
needful or acceptable, he would sacrifice his 
comforts, and, without any prospect of worldly 
advantage, embark once more upon the stormy 
ocean. Thus was this wonderful man raised 
up, and thus prepared to take command of this 
novel and important undertaking. 

When we reflect upon the various circum- 
stances which attended the commencement of 
the mission, we cannot wonder that our fathers 
had the pleasing impression " that their under- 
taking was of God." 

A second time the ship Duff was sent with a 


strong reinforcement of thirty additional labour- 
ers. By this we perceive the enlarged nature 
of the views entertained by the friends of this 
mission, together with the extent of their con- 
fidence in God and in his people. They were 
men whose minds seemed to revel in great 
things. God, however, for a time, appeared to 
disappoint all their expectations ; for this 
hitherto favoured ship was captured by the 
Buonaparte privateer. The property was en- 
tirely lost; and the Missionaries, with their 
families, after suffering many difficulties and 
privations, returned to England. The Mar- 
quesan mission failed ; at Tongatabu some of 
the Missionaries lost their lives, and that mission 
was, in consequence of a series of disastrous 
circumstances, abandoned ; those settled at 
Tahiti, under such favourable circumstances, 
had, from fear of their lives, nearly all fled to 
New South Wales ; so that after a few years 
very little remained of this splendid embassy of 
Christian mercy to the South Seas. A few of 
the brethren, however, never abandoned their 
posts ; and others returned, after having been 
a short time absent ; some of whom are still 
labouring with unabated devotedness in the 
cause to which they consecrated their lives. 
These are Mr. Henry and Mr. Nott,* who 
were among the first Missionaries in the Duff ; 
and Mr. Davies and Mr. Wilson, who were in 
the same vessel when she was captured. In 
addition to all these disappointments, the Mis- 
sionaries at Tahiti appeared to be " labouring 
in vain, and spending their strength for nought 
and in vain." For sixteen years, notwithstand- 
ing the untiring zeal, the incessant journeys, 
the faithful exhortations of these devoted men, 
no spirit of interest or inquiry appeared ; no 
solitary instance of conversion took place ; the 
wars of the natives continued frequent and 
desolating, and their idolatries abominable and 
cruel. The heavens above seemed to be as 
brass, and the earth as iron. At length the 
time to favour Zion in Polynesia, yea, the set 
time came, and then God was pleased to com- 
mence the work of conversion there, in such a 
manner as to secure all the glory to himself. 
This is worthy of special notice ; for the Mis- 
sionaries, at the time the work commenced, 
were driven away from the island of Tahiti by 
war, and cut off from all communication with 
it. Two native servants, formerly in the families 
of the Missionaries, had received, unknown to 
them, some favourable impressions, and had 
united together for prayer. To these many 
other persons had attached themselves, so that, 
on the return of the Missionaries to Tahiti, at 
the termination of the war, they found a great 
number of " pure Atua," or praying people ; 
and they had little else to do but to help for- 
ward the work which God had so unexpectedly 
and wonderfully commenced. Another circum- 
stance, demanding special observation in refer- 
ence to the commencement of the great work at 
Tahiti, is, that, discouraged by so many years 
of fruitless toil, the Directors entertained serious 

* Now in England, alter uparly forty years of faithful 
and devoted labour. 

thoughts of abandoning the mission altogether. 
A few undeviating friends of that field of Mis- 
sionary enterprise, however, opposed the mea- 
sure, among whom was good Dr. Haweis, who, 
in addition to his former princely donations, 
sustained his opposition by presenting the 
Society with 200/. more.* My late venerable 
and beloved pastor, the Rev. Matthew Wilks, 
united with Dr. Haweis in supporting the 
mission, and, with the characteristic devoted- 
ness of his spirit, said, " that he would rather 
sell his garments from his back than that the 
mission should be given up ;" and proposed 
that a season of special prayer for the Divine 
blessing should be observed. The proposition 
was agreed to, and letters of encouragement 
were written to the Missionaries: and while 
the vessel which carried these letters was on 
her passage to Tahiti, another ship was convey- 
ing to England, not only the news of the entire 
overthrow of idolatry, but also the rejected 
idols of the people. Thus was fulfilled the 
gracious promise, " Before they call I will 
answer, and while they are yet speaking I will 

From that time to this, one continued series 
of successes has attended our labours, so that 
island after island, and group after group have, 
in rapid succession, been brought under the 
influence of the Gospel ; so much so, indeed, 
that at the present time we do not know of any 
group, or any single island of importance, 
within 2000 miles of Tahiti, in any direction, 
to which the glad tidings of salvation have not 
been conveyed. 

Thus it will be seen, that God was " not 
unrighteous to forget their work of faith and 
labour of love." The fathers of our Society 
had cast themselves, in the " confidence of 
hope," upon the promises and faithfulness of 
God ; and it is not in accordance with the one 
or the other that, having sown bountifully, they 
should reap sparingly. My earnest desire is, 
that the mighty work may go on with equal 
rapidity, so that within a few years every island 
in the Pacific, even to New Guinea itself, may 
be elevated from its moral degradation, and 
made to participate in the blessings of the 
Gospel. Nor am I devoid of the cheering hope 
that I also maybe an instrument in accelerating 
this great work. 

* The amount was in fact twelve hundred pounds; a 
thousand of which the excellent Doctor became possessed 

of in a peculiar way. Mrs. H had just given birth 

to a son , and a kind lady addressed a letter of congratula- 
tion to her, enclosing a present for Mrs. H 's at- 
tendant. Thi^ Mrs. Haweis returned to her friend. Dr. 
Haweis was at this period much perplexed about the 
Mission; his 200/., he said, would not support it, and he 
feared that it would ultimately be abandoned. He had 
spent an almost sleepless night in anxiety, when, on the 
following morning, a letter was received from the lady to 
whom the Five Pounds had been returned, enclosing 
five hundred, saying, it was hoped that the Doctor would 
not return that, but devote it to some ol the numerous 
benevolent objects tor which he required it. The letter 
also contained a promise of Five Hundred more the 
following year; allot' which was devoted by the good 
Doctor to the Souih Sea Missiou. 



Geographical Description of the Hervey Islands Geolo- 
gical Character of the Islands generally Their Classi- 
iieation The Object for which, and the Spirit in which, 
Knowledge should be sought On Coral Formations 
Reefs and Islands not the work of Insects. 

The Island of Raiatea, the largest and most 
central of the Society Islands, about 100 miles 
from Tahiti, has been the immediate scene of my 
labours since I joined the mission, in 1817 ; but, 
as much information has been given, in various 
ways, respecting the Tahitian and Society 
Islands, I shall say little respecting them. 

The two groups, about which the following 
pages contain much information, are, first, the 
Hervey ; and, secondly, the Samoa, or Navi- 
gators' Islands ; both of which are new fields of 
Missionary labour. 

The Hervey Islands are seven in number 
Mauke, Mitiaro, Atiu, Mangaia, Rarotonga, 
Hervey' s Island, and Aitutaki. They are from 
500 to 600 miles west of Tahiti. Very 
little was known of them until they were visited 
by myself and my colleague, Mr. Bourne, in 
1823. To prevent the interruption of the nar- 
rative, and to render the sequel more intelligible, 
I shall give a short description of each island, 
with its position, size, and population. 

Hervey's Island, from which the group takes 
its name, is really composed of two small islets, 
19 18' S., 158" 5<f W. long. It was discovered 
by Captain Cook, and by him named in honour 
of Captain Hervey, R. N., one of the Lords of 
the Admiralty, and afterwards Earl of Bristol. 
It is surrounded by a reef, through which there 
is no entrance. 1 visited it in 1823, intending 
to place a native teacher there, as 1 expected to 
find a considerable population ; but on learning 
that, by their frequent and exterminating wars, 
they had reduced themselves to about sixty in 
number, I did not fulfil my intention. Some 
six or seven years after this I visited the same 
island again, and found that this miserable 
remnant of the former population had fought so 
frequently and so desperately, that the only 
survivors were five men, three women, and a 
few children ! and at that period there was a con- 
tention among them as to which should be king ! 

Mauke is a small low island, discovered by 
myself and Mr. Bourne, in 1823, in lat. 23 S., 
157 20' W. long. It is about fifteen miles in 
circumference. By an invasion of a large fleet 
of canoes, laden with warriors from a neigh- 
bouring island, three years prior to our arrival, 
the population, previously considerable, was, by 
the dreadful massacre that ensued, reduced to 
about 300. 

Mitiaro is a still smaller island of the same 
description. It lies about twenty miles north- 
west of Mauke. By famine and invasion this 
island has likewise been almost depopulated ; 
there not being 100 persons remaining. 

Atiu is larger than either Mauke or Mitiaro. 
This island, which is about twenty miles in 
circumference, was discovered by Captain Cook, 
and is situated 20 S., 158 15' W. It is a 

beautiful verdant spot, not mountainous, but 
hilly. We found the inhabitants something 
under 2000. Captain Cook, called it Wateoo. 

Mangaia was also discovered by Captain 
Cook, and is situated lat. 21 57' S., 158 T 
W. long., being about 120 miles south of Atiu. 
Mangaia is twenty or five-and-twenty miles in 
circumference, and moderately high. The 
island is rather singular in its form and appear- 
ance ; a broad ridge girting the hills, at about 
100 feet from their base. The foliage is rich ; 
the population between 2000 and 3000. These 
four islands differ from the Society Islands in 
this very important feature, that the surround- 
ing reef joins the shore; there is, consequently, 
neither passage for boats, nor any safe anchor- 
age for vessels. 

The sixth, and most important island of the 
group, is Rarotonga. This splendid island 
escaped the untiring researches of Captain 
Cook, and was discovered by myself in 1823. 
It is a mass of high mountains, which present a 
remarkably romantic appearance. It is situated 
in lat. 21 20' S., 160 W. long. It has several 
good boat harbours, is about thirty miles in 
circumference, and is surrounded by a reef. 
The population is about 6000 or 7000. 

The seventh and last island is Aitutaki, which 
was discovered by Captain Cook. Like most 
of its companions in the group, its landscapes 
are rich and variegated ; it is hilly rather than 
mountainous, and surrounded by a reef, which 
extends a very considerable distance from the 
shore. There is a good entrance for a boat on 
the west side of the island. It is eighteen 
miles in circumference, and has a population of 
about 2000 persons. The situation is 18 54' 
S. lat. 159 41' W. long. 

By this brief description of the Hervey 
Islands, the reader will be enabled, as we pro- 
ceed, to refer in his mind to the relative im- 
portance of each island ; he will also perceive 
that the whole group contains a population of 
from 14,000 to 16,000 persons. Of the Samoa 
Islands I shall hereafter give a more extended 

Perhaps it will be expected that I should say 
something upon two most interesting subjects 
both of which, however, are involved in much 
mystery the formation of the islands, and the 
origin of the inhabitants. The latter point I 
shall defer until I treat of the different dialects 
spoken by the inhabitants of the various groups ; 
and, having hastily glanced at the former, shall 
pass as speedily as possible to the immediate 
object of the present narrative, which is, first, 
to show how the Gospel has been introduced 
among this people, and then to supply some 
account of the mighty triumphs it has achieved. 

In order to give the reader a correct idea of 
the islands generally, it will be necessary to 
divide them into three distinct classes, and de- 
scribe each class separately. The first is the 
mountainous. The islands of this class, with 
but few exceptions, are truly splendid. The 
immense mountains rise gradually from their 
base, till their lofty summits are lost amid the 
clouds of heaven ; some are t roken into a thou- 


Aimeo Volcanic, 

sand fantastic shapes ; here a pyramid piercing 
the skies, and there a spire presenting its apex 
above the belt of clouds by which it is girt ; 
and then you see a precipitous rock, lifting 
itself up in solemn grandeur, and frowning over 
your head like the mouldering battlements of 
some immense castle. The sides of these mag- 
nificent heights are clothed with bright verdure 
of varied shades. Beauty, grandeur, wildness, 
and sublimity, are so fantastically blended and 
contrasted, as to excite the most varied and 
delightful feelings. Then there is the ocean 
beneath you, stretching away in boundless 
majesty, until it appears to embrace the heavens 
in the distance. At the base of the mountains 
are fertile and luxuriant valleys, in which are 
intermingled the stately bread-fruit tree, the 
banana, the Brazilian plum, and many other 
tropical productions, some of which are trees of 
gigantic growth and richest foliage, all equally 
beautiful, but each having its own hue, from the 
darkest shade to green of the lightest tint. The 
plumes of the cocoa-nut tree, overtopping the 
whole, and waving majestically to the passing 
breeze from the ocean, giving an exquisite finish 
to the landscape. 

The elevated portions of these islands are 
from 2,000 to 10,000 feet above the level of the 
sea. The mountains of Hawaii are said to be 
about 15,000 feet in height. 

In all the above-mentioned islands there are 
evident traces of volcanic eruption. In many 
of them the rocks are composed of a fine-grained 

or First Class. 

black basalt, of which the natives make their 
penus, or pounders, to beat their bread-fruit 
into a paste, and of which also they made their 
hatchets prior to the introduction of iron tools. 
In others, pumice-stone is found, and stones of 
varied appearance, which have evidently under- 
gone the action of fire. Immense masses, 
also, of conglomerated rubble are frequently 
met with. But whether these islands, from 50 
miles to 400 or 500 in circumference and from 
1,000 to 15,000 feet in height, owe their exist- 
ence entirely to volcanic agency, or otherwise, 
is a problem I am not prepared to solve. Some 
of them may ; others may be fragments of a 
submerged continent ; or they may have been 
thrown up from the bed of the ocean by some 
violent convulsion of nature. It is evident, that 
all the islands with which we are acquainted 
have, at one time or other, been under water ; 
for at the tops of the highest mountains coral, 
shells, and other marine substances, are found 
in great abundance. The wild and romantic 
appearance of the rocks their broken, abrupt, 
and irregular forms also indicate that at some 
remote period they have been subject to the 
disruption of an earthquake, to volcanic ex- 
plosion, or to some other equally mighty and 
equally capricious agent. 

The islands of the second class are rather 
hilly than mountainous, averaging from 100 
to 500 feet in height. They are, generally 
speaking, equally beautiful in their appearance, 
and luxuriant in their foliage, with those of the 

Henderson's Island. Crystal Rocks, or Second Class. 


first class ; but, being less sublime in their 
character, from having neither pyramidal rocks 
nor spring heights, they do not impress the 
mind with that wonder and delight which must 
seize the breast of every lover of nature, when 
mountains of so much grandeur, richness, and 
sublimity, first present themselves to his view. 

In this second class of islands there is cer- 
tainly an absence, to a great extent, of the vol- 
canic phenomena that abound in those of the 

first, the rocks being crystallized carbonate of 
lime, very much in appearance like the arago- 
nite of the Giant's Causeway. These are sup- 
posed originally to have been coral; but by ex- 
posure to the action of the atmosphere, together 
with that of the water percolating through them, 
the loose particles ofcalcareous matter have been 
washed away, and the whole mass has become 
hard and bright. 

The third class is the low coralline islands, 

One of the Friendly Islands. Coral, Third Class. 

which, in most cases, rise but a few feet above 
the sea. They are generally small. Tongatubu, 
however, which is also of this class, is about 
100 miles in circumference. The soil upon the 
coralline islands is frequently so very thin, that 
but little vegetation is produced upon them, 
beside the cocoa-nut trees, pandanus, some 
stunted hibiscus, and a few other trees, of 
dwarfish growth, with a quantity of brush-wood. 
Tongatubu, however, and the Friendly Islands 
generally, may be deemed exceptions ; the soil 
there being much deeper, every production of 
the islands of the first and second class grows 
in luxuriant profusion. Mauke, also, is a beau- 
tiful and fertile little spot. The accompanying 
cuts will present to the reader, at one view, 
the relative appearance of the classes into which 
I have divided the islands. 

All the Society, and many other islands in the 
Pacific, are surrounded by a belt of coral rock, 
from two or three to twenty yards in width, and 
situated at various distances, from a few yards 
to perhaps two miles from the shore. Against 
this wonderful barrier the long rolling waves of 
the wide Pacific are driven with terrific violence ; 
and towering in one vast sheet of water to an 
immense height, with majestic power they curl 
their foaming tops over the reef, and bursting 
against this rocky bulwark, spread their harm- 
lessvengeance upon its surface. The spray from 
the breaking of these billows frequently rises so 
high as to present a beautiful marine rainbow. 

The waters of the lagoon, between the reef 
and the shore, are placid and transparent, at 
the bottom of which, and on the sloping sides 
of the banks as they descend beneath the water, 
a most enchanting picture presents itself ; for 
coral of every variety, of every shape, and of 
every hue, is seen intermingled in rich pro- 
fusion, presenting to the imagination the idea 

of a sub-marine flower-garden or shrubbery of 
exquisite beauty: while among the tortuous 
branches of the madrepore, and wide-spreading 
leaves of other corals, the zebra-fish, and others 
of every colour and size, are seen gamboling in 
conscious security. 

For the sake of being clear and explicit upon 
the interesting topic of the formation of the is- 
lands, I shall first notice the theories which I find 
are entertained upon it, and afterwards present 
some important facts to the attention of the reader, 
by which these theories may be tested. For it 
appears to me that there is one grand point of 
difference in moral and physical science, which 
ought ever to be kept in view in our researches 
after knowledge : in morals, facts and theories 
must be brought to the test of known principles ; 
while in physical science, theories and principles 
must be brought to the test of facts. 

The great object for which all knowledge 
should be sought, and for which it ought to be 
employed, is to illustrate the wisdom or good- 
ness of the great and beneficent Creator. And 
if we come to the study of natural phenomena 
with minds unchilled by scepticism or infidelity, 
we shall be led to sublime religious contempla- 
tions ; and whether we examine the little coral 
insect of the ocean, or gaze upon the gigantic 
beast of the forest ; whether we study the little 
glow-worm which twinkles upon the bank, or 
the celestial luminaries performing their ap- 
pointed revolutions in majestic silence, amidst 
the vast expanse of infinity, with an ancient 
and scientific king we shall be led to exclaim, 
"How manifold, O God, are thy works! in 
wisdom thou hast made them all." 

In all our prying researches after knowledge, 
it is necessary that the mind be firmly established 
upon two great points the belief in a Divine 
creative agency, and in the Divine authenticity 



of the sacred Scriptures ; having a thorough con- 
viction of the truth of the facts recorded, and of 
the correctness of the principles laid down. 
Without these, our minds will be led into a dark 
mysterious void, instead of having our thoughts 
carried up to the Father of light and of life. 

With these principles as our ballast, without 
any apprehension of danger, we may launch our 
bark upon the broad ocean of science, explore 
its coasts, and fathom its depths ; but destitute 
of them, our vessel will be in a perpetual storm, 
amidst rocks and shoals, without a rudder, a 
compass, or a chart. 

Thus equipped, you may accompany the 
geologist into the bowels of the earth, and 
examine its wondrous structure ; and you will 
return with an overwhelming conviction, that 
the " Eternal God made the earth by his power, 
that the pillars of it are his, and that he has set 
the world upon them." With the astronomer, 
you may ascend the skies, contemplate with 
ecstasy the movements of the heavenly bodies, 
and with the scientific Psalmist you will exclaim, 
" The heavens declare the glory of God, and 
the firmament showeth his handiwork." With 
the voyager, you may visit distant climes, and 
viewing man in all his multiplied and varied 
characters, you will be convinced that " God 
hath made of one blood all nations of men for 
to dwell upon the earth." Thus it is, that in 
every age the evidences of revealed religion 
have advanced with the progress of sound know- 
ledge. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise ; for the 
God of nature, whose operations it is the pro- 
vince of science to explore, is the God of the 
Bible ; and, as the God of truth, he cannot set 
forth in his word principles at variance with 
those which, as the God of nature, he has esta- 
blished in the material world. Both systems of 
knowledge, thus emanating from the same 
source, must harmonize with each other ; for 
the Bible is something like a new edition of 
the book of nature, with a splendid appendix, 
which makes known the wonderful scheme of 
human redemption. If there is any apparent 
discrepancy in these two editions of this same 
great work, it arises from our inability lightly to 
decipher the characters employed. 

In venturing to suggest any opinions of my 
own upon this intricate but interesting geological 
topic, I shall do so in the form of hints, for the 
candid consideration of those "who may feel 
disposed to prosecute their inquiries into its 

First, then, as to the formation of the coral 
islands. The received opinion mow is, that they 
are formed by little marine animals, called sax- 
igenous, or rock-making polypes. These insects, 
it is supposed, first select a suitable situation, 
such as the summit of a volcano, or the top of a 
sub- marine mountain ; for it is stated that this 
species of the coral insect does not exist in deep 
water.* Having thus selected the spot, innu- 
merable myriads of these wonderful little 
animals work with incredible diligence until 
they reach the surface of the water, above which 

Journal of Roval Geographical SocietY of London, 
1S31; p. 218. 

they cannot build. Drift-wood and other sub- 
stances, which are conveyed by currents and 
winds, there find a lodgment : sand, &c, is 
washed up by the waves of the sea, and thus an 
island is formed. Birds visit the spot, seeds are 
by this means conveyed, and a soil is subse- 
quently created by decayed vegetable matter.* 

This appears to be the received opinion rela- 
tive to the formation of the low coral islands. 

The second class of islands, which are from 
thirty to three hundred feet in height, being 
what is termed crystallized rock-coral, are sup- 
posed to have been originally either reefs or 
low islands, which have been elevated by the 
upheaving power of an earthquake, or the vol- 
canic intrusion of matter somewhere under their 
base, or by some general and powerful expan- 
sive force. In two or three islands of this class 
that I have had an opportunity of examining, 
this latter opinion appears very probable. 

In Atiu and Mauke, the latter of which we 
discovered in 1823, there are several extensive 
caverns, having a stratum of crystallized coral, 
fifteen feet in thickness, as a roof. In one of 
these exquisitely beautiful caverns I walked 
about for two hours, and found no termination 
to its windings. This circumstance, together 
with the entire absence of scoria, lava, and other 
volcanic phenomena, in this class of islands, 
may lead to a supposition that they may have 
been elevated by some expansive power, or 
volcanic agency, without eruption. 

In the island of Mangaia, where there is also 
a small quantity of fine-grained basalt, there is 
a subterraneous communication with the sea, 
which, to the best of my recollection, reaches 
more than a mile inland. A piece of wood, or 
any other floating substance, thrown into a hole 
at the bottom of the rocks, where there is a 
small lake, will, in a short time, be found float- 
ing on the sea. Also at Raiatea, the largest of 
the Society Islands, and one of the first, or 
volcanic class, there is a similar communication 
with the ocean. On the top of a mountain, 
several hundred feet in height, there is a hole 
of a few yards in dimension : and if, when a 
strong haapiti, or north-easterly wind, blows, 
you roll a piece of cloth of the size of a sheet 
into a hai-d ball, and throw it into the hole, the 
current of air beneath will open it out, and it 
will be blown to the top of the hole again like 
a parachute. 

The first class, as I have before intimated, 
betray, in the multiplied points of their expan- 
sion, the proofs of volcanic violence. In Hawaii 
of the Sandwich Islands, in Toofua and Proby 
of the Friendly Islands, and in Tanna of the 
New Hebrides, volcanoes are still in active 

From a variety of questions which have been 
proposed to me since my arrival in England, 
together with what I have heard stated by many 
well informed persons, I perceive that incorrect 
opinions are entertained respecting the extent 
and rapidity of coral growth ; and that it is sup- 
posed new islands are constantly being formed 
with such rapidity, that in course of time island 
* Lyell's Geology, vol. iii., p. 300. 


will be joined to island, and the whole Pacific 
will become one vast continent '. Dr. Buckland, 
in his late work on Geology, countenances the 
theory of newly-formed islands, as well as the 
rapidity of coral growth. " The tendency of 
polypes to Multiply in the waters of warm 
climates is so great, that the bottom of our tro- 
pical seas swarm with countless myriads of these 
little creatures, ever actively engaged in con- 
structing their small but enduring habitations. 
Almost every submarine volcanic cone and ridge 
within these latitudes has become the nucleus 
and foundation of a colony of polypes. The 
calcareous secretions of these insects are accu- 
mulated into enormous banks, or reefs of coral, 
sometimes extending to a length of many hun- 
dreds of miles ; these, continually rising to the 
surface in spots where they were unknown 
before, endanger the navigation of many parts 
of the tropical seas."* Now, the question is, 
Do the phenomena of the South Seas warrant 
such a conclusion 1 I should reply, Most cer- 
tainly not. The rapidity of coral growth has 
been most egregiously overrated and overstated. 
Capt. Beechy, of his Majesty's ship the Blossom, 
in his voyage to the Pacific, supplied some 
valuable information calculated to corect this 
error. And here I may assert, that, in all the 
range of my travels in the South Seas, I have 
perceived no animal agency at work adequate 
to the formation of a reef or island of any 
extent, within a period of many thousands of 

Lyell, reasoning upon Captain Beechy's data, 
supposes that the ordinary growth of coral may 
amount to six inches in a century ; it will then 
require 3000 years to produce a reef fifteen feet 
thick.f Captain Beechy visited an island, sup- 
posed to be an elevated reef, eighty feet high ; 
Mr. Stuchbury and myself have visited Rurutu, 
the rocks of which are of the same material, and 
are a hundred and fifty feet in height ; and the 
calcareous rocks of Mangaia are about three 
hundred feet. Now, all these are supposed to 
be reefs elevated out of the sea ; and if it takes 
a century to produce a reef six inches in thick- 
ness, and three thousand years to produce one 
fifteen feet thick, eighteen thousand years would 
be required to produce the island visited by- 
Captain Beechy, thirty thousand for the rocks 
of Rurutu, and fifty or sixty thousand for those 
of Mangaia ; and only that portion of them 
which appears above water ! 

In addition to this, I have traditions of the 
natives upon almost every subject, especially of 
their former navigators, wherein every island 
which has subsequently been discovered within 
two thousand miles is named ; but in no one of 
them is there any mention of, or reference to, a 
newly-formed island. I am familiar with one 
tradition, in which there is a genealogical ac- 
count of the reigning family for thirty genera- 
tions, and this is also equally silent upon the 
subject of new formations. 

Another error in reference to corals I find 
entertained is this : many persons suppose that 

* Auckland's Geologv, p. 443. 

t See Lyell's Geology, vol. iii. p. 306. 

all coral insects work until they reach the surface 
of the water, which is not the case ; for you 
seldom find a piece of branching madrepore, or 
brain, or any other coral, however deep in the 
water, above two or three feet in height. Dr. 
Ure, in his admirable work on Geology, appears 
to assign by far too great importance to this 
species of coral.* 

And now I would briefly inquire what is the 
substance of which coral is composed, and 
whence do the insects obtain the material with 
which they build 1 Three distinct theories appear 
to be entertained upon this subject. The first 
is, that coral is the exuvice of the insect, t The 
second, that it is a secretion from the animal. 
Buckland says, " that the gelatinous bodies of 
these polypes are furnished with the power of 
secreting carbonate of lime, with which they 
form a basis of attachment, and cell of retreat," 
&c. A third opinion is, that the dead animal 
is converted into coral. This latter idea appears 
to be sanctioned by some persons of eminence. 
Lyell, when speaking of Bermuda, says, that 
" the decomposition of the numerous zoophites 
produces a soft white calcareous mud resem- 
bling chalk. "j Mr. Stuchbury also remarks, 
that the " carbonate of lime, by which some solid 
masses of compact limestone are formed, may 
have been derived from the decomposition of 
corals and testacea." 

In venturing to offer a theory upon this topic, 
differing from those entertained by scientific 
men of great eminence, I must cast myself upon 
the candour of any one who, by his superior 
discernment, may detect a want of soundness 
in my propositions. 

That there exists a considerable portion of 
calcareous matter, or carbonate of lime, in salt 
water, has of course long been known ; it was, 
however, a fact with which 1 was unacquainted, 
until, when abroad, being in want of salt, we 
were compelled to make it by boiling down 
sea-water. In this process we invariably found 
that a cake of lime formed at the bottom of 
the pan in which the water was boiled. This 
fact, thus ascertained, gave rise to a variety of 
suggestions in my mind ; and having, since my 
arrival in England, prosecuted my inquiries into 
this subject, 1 find that, in all the salt-works in 
which sea-water is boiled, a thick cake of sul- 
phate of lime is invariably found at the bottoms 
of the pans ; and that our magnesia is obtained 
from the same source. These facts will be 
conclusive and satisfactory to the mind of every 
person who was not previously aware of the 
presence of lime in salt water. Whence this 
material may be derived is an inquiry of no 
importance to the theory I would suggest. Dr. 
Buckland says, that " some refer it entirely to 
marine animals," but intimates himself, "that 
it may be carried by rivers into the sea."|| 
Where, however, are there rivers of sufficient 
magnitude to impregnate such a body of water 
as that of which the Pacific Ocean is com- 

* See Tire's Geology, p. 469. t Forster's Voyages. 

% Lyell's Geology, vol. iii. p. 301. 

Stuchbury, in the West of Kngland Journal. 

\ Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise. 



posed 1 But, as in tropical climates the pro- 
cess of evaporation is so much more rapid 
than in higher latitudes, and as this calcareous 
matter is separated by evaporation, may we not 
conclude that the innumerable myriads of these 
minute calcareous particles, which are always 
floating about in the sea, are thus produced 1 
The inference I draw, then, is this : that, as 
there is carbonate of lime in salt water ; that as 
corals are carbonate of lime ; and that as they 
are found to exist principally in warm climates, 
where by the process of evaporation there is an 
abundance of material supplied for these insects 
to build with ; instead of secreting the substance, 
or producing it in any other way, they are 
merely the wonderful architects which nature 
employs to mould and fashion this material into 
the various and beauteous forms which the God 
of nature has designed it should assume ? 

This opinion appeared to me to receive con- 
siderable confirmation on my late visit to the 
Museum at Liverpool ; for, in looking over the 
extensive collection of corals there, I perceived 
a branching piece rather different from any 
with which I was acquainted ; and on reading 
the label I found it to be " a calcareous crystal 
formed in the evaporating-house of the King of 

I would venture also to suggest, whether the 
same theory might not be applicable to the 
formation of shells ; and instead of supposing 
that the animals secrete the calcareous coverings 
which they inhabit, may they not emit or secrete 
a gluten, to which the calcareous particles ad- 
here, and thus the shells are formed. 

While I believe in the agency of insects in the 
formation of the branching, the brain, and other 
corals, and also in that of roundish masses of 
various size, which, when broken, have much 
the appearance of coarse lump-sugar, and may 
be the work of the saxiyenous polypes, yet, for 
two or three apparently conclusive reasons, I 
think the rock of which the reefs and islands 
are composed is not the production of insects. 
The first of these relates to the height of these 
masses. Lyell states that the class of polypes, 
to which this work is assigned, cannot live in 
water of great depth, and, quoting Mr. Stuch- 
bury and other scientific authorities, suggests 
that twenty-five or thirty feet is the lowest point 
at which they can work. If this be correct, how 
can we account for the solid rock eighty feet 
above the surface of the water, of which Hender- 
son's Island, visited by Captain Beechy, is 
composed ; for the rocks of Rurutu, 150 feet ; 
and for those of Mangaia, 300 feet in height? 
none of which present appearances to warrant 
the supposition that they have been elevated by 
a succession of efforts.* The inference to be 
drawn from this is, that the insects do exist in 
greater depths than are now assigned to them, 
or that these solid masses are not the effect of 
their labour : the one or the other must be the 
case. To the latter opinion I entirely yield. 

Another reason equally conclusive is, that, 
while the madrepore, the brain, and even- other 

See Captain Beechy's Account of Henderson's Is- 

species of coral, are full of little cells, the reefs 
and islands appear to be solid masses of compact 
crystal limestone, in which nothing like a cell 
can be detected, but which, on the contrary, 
present a fine stratified appearance. Lyell in- 
timates, " that this continuous mass of stone is 
composed of shells, broken-off prickles of the 
echini, fragments of coral, united by calcareous 
sand, produced by the pulverisation of shells," 
&c. Now this kind of marine rubble, I think, 
is invariably in strata from three to nine inches 
in thickness ; and the solid masses composing 
the islands and reefs, to which I have alluded, 
are pure and unmixed. 

A third objection I have to allowing the reefs 
and islands to be the work of insects is, the 
amazing length of time, as I have already shown, 
that would be required to produce them. May 
not these structures have been produced by the 
chemical precipitation of the minute calcareous 
particles of which I have spoken 1 or may not 
the late experiments at the Philosophical Insti- 
tution at Bristol throw some light upon this 
subject? There, Mr. Cross, by passing electric 
fluid through water, detached the calcareous 
and silicious particles, and produced stones of 
various kinds. Now, in tropical climates light- 
ning is very frequent and vivid, and perhaps 
may exert an influence which has not hitherto 
been assigned to it ; but more especially electric 
fluid may be engendered, to a considerable 
extent, by the sub-marine and other volcanoes 
which abound in the South Seas, and produce 
an effect adequate to the formation of these 
wonderful and invaluable structures.* 

After all, however, that 1 have seen, and 
thought, and read upon the subject, my im- 
pression is, that the islands remain much in the 
same state as when the deluge left them, and 
that every subsequent alteration has been paitial 
in its character, and exceedingly limited in its 


Vovage to New South Wales The remarkable circum- 
stances under which the Gospel was introduced in 
Rurutu His Majesty King George the Fourth remits 
the Dutv on the first Cargo of Native Produce The 
Wreck of the Ship Falcon at Rurutu Honesty of the 
Natives Exhibition of Idols The Aitutaki Mission 

In the latter end of the year 1821, Mrs. Wil- 
liam's health being much impaired, and suffer- 
ing myself from the effects of a disease prevalent 
in the islands, it was deemed desirable to avail 
ourselves of an opportunity, which was then 
afforded, of visiting N ew South Wales. Desirous 
of making the affliction subservient to the one 
great object to which our lives were devoted, 
we determined to take with us two native 

* In my late visit to Bristol, I found that Mr. Cross 
produced his crystals, not by violent shocks of electricity, 
but bv a small constant stream of electric fluid; which 
appears to be the manner in which it would be emitted 
in submarine volcanoes, and may account for the circum- 
stance of the coral reefs and islands being formed on theii 



Christians, and place them as teachers in the 
Island of Aitutaki. 

The captain of the vessel having kindly con- 
sented to convey them, without expense either 
to ourselves or the Society, we mentioned the 
circumstance to the members of the church, who 
were delighted with the proposition, and selected 
Papeiha and Yahapata, two of their number, 
for the work. Of Papeiha much will be said 
hereafter, for he has been exceedingly useful, 
and to the present moment has preserved an 
unsullied reputation. These two brethren were 
set apart to their office in an interesting service, 
held on the day of our departure from Raiatea. 
The minds of our people had been awakened to 
the subject of extending the knowledge of the 
Gospel by a peculiarly interesting circumstance 
that had just before occurred. An island called 
Rurutu, about 350 miles to the south of Raiatea, 
was visited by an epidemic, which appears to 
have been exceedingly fatal. As the natives 
believe every such calamity to be an infliction 
of some angry deity, two chiefs of enterprising 
spirit determined to build each a large canoe, 
and, with as many of their people as could be 
conveyed, to launch upon the mighty deep, 
committing themselves to the winds and the 
waves, in search of some happier isle. They 
felt convinced that, if they remained, they would 
certainly he "devoured by the gods," whose 
anger they had in vain endeavoured to appease ; 
and that, should they not succeed in reaching 
any other land, they could but perish in the 
billows of the ocean. 

Everything prepared, Auura and his party 
launched their canoe, unfurled their sails, and 
were soon out of sight of their lovely but de- 
voted island, and, as they supposed, out of the 
reach of their infuriated deities. They arrived 
at the island of Tubuai ; and, after having 
recruited their strength and spirits, determined 
on returning to their native isle, hoping that 
the plague was stayed. They launched their 
vessels, and committed themselves again to the 
deep, little anticipating the perils that awaited 
them. Scarcely had they lost sight of the 
mountains of Tubuai, when they were overtaken 
with a violent storm, which drove them out of 
their course. Of the crew of one of the canoes 
the greater part perished at sea. The chief, 
Auura, to whom the other belonged, and his 
party, were driven about they knew not whither, 
and for three weeks they traversed the trackless 
ocean, during which time they suffered exceed- 
ingly from the want of food and water. At 
length, He who holds the winds in his fists, and 
the waters in the hollow of his hands, to whose 
merciful designs the elements are subservient, 
g-uided them to the Society Islands. They were 
driven on the coral reef which surrounds the 
island of Maurua, the farthest west of the group. 
Had they not reached this island they must have 

The hospitable attentions of the inhabitants 
of this little isle soon restored the strength of 
the exhausted voyagers, who related the dread- 
ful calamities which had befallen their country 
and themselves. The Mauruans informed them 

that they formerly worshipped the same deities, 
and attributed every evil that befel them to the 
anger of their "evil spirits ;" but that now they 
were worshippers of Jehovah, the one living 
and true God ; giving them a detailed account 
of the manner in which Christianity had been 
introduced among themselves, and pointing to 
the demolished maraes and mutilated idols in 
confirmation of their statements. 

The astonished strangers, on hearing that 
white men, who had come in ships from a dis- 
tant country to bring them good tidings, were 
living at islands, the summits of whose moun- 
tains were in sight, determined to proceed there 
immediately. A westerly wind setting in, 
Auura and his friends again launched on the 
deep, not to fly from the anger of their gods, but 
in search of those who could explain more fully 
to them the nature of the astonishing news they 
had heard. Not being acquainted with the 
coast of Porapora, they missed the entrance, 
and were driven to Raiatea. On landing their 
astonishment was again excited ; the mission- 
aries, their wives and families, the natives in 
European dresses with hats and bonnets, their 
neat white cottages, together with the various 
useful arts which had been introduced amongst 
the people, filled the strangers with admiration 
and surprise. When they were conducted to 
public worship on the Sabbath, they beheld 
with astonishment the assembled multitude ; 
heard them sing the praises of the one living 
and true God, and listened with the deepest 
interest to the message of mercy. At once they 
were convinced of the superiority of the Christian 
religion, and concluded that God had graciously 
conducted them therefor the purpose of making 
them acquainted with its inestimable blessings. 
Having placed themselves under our instruc- 
tion, we gave them in special charge to our 
deacons, and supplied them with elementary 
books. Auura was exceedingly diligent in 
learning, and made very rapid progress. In a 
short time he completely mastered the spelling- 
book, could repeat the greater part of our cate- 
chism, and read in the gospel of Matthew. 
They were only with us a little more than three 
months, and, before they left, he and several 
others could read, spell, and write correctly, 
although they were previously ignorant of the 
formation of a letter or a figure. 

Auura expressed to us very frequently his 
anxious desire to revisit his own island, to earry 
to his relatives and countrymen the knowledge 
he had obtained of the true God and his Son 
Jesus Christ ; manifesting, at the same time, 
in the most affectionate manner, his fears that 
on his return he should find very few of his 
relatives and friends alive, as " the evil spirit 
was devouring the people so fast when he fled 
from the island." 

A vessel, belonging to our kind and liberal 
friend A. Birnie, Esq., touched at Raiatea, on 
her way to England, whither she was conveying 
the very first cargo of native produce which was 
shipped from that part of the world. It was a 
cargo of cocoa-nut oil, subscribed by the con- 
verted natives in aid of the funds of the London 



Missionary Society. His late Majesty King 
George IV., upon being informed of the cir- 
cumstance, graciously commanded that the duty 
should be remitted, which enhanced the value 
of the property 4.001. The total amount, there- 
fore, contributed to the funds of the Society by 
this produce was 1800/. 

Having informed the captain of our wish that 
the chief and people might be conveyed to their 
own island, with a readiness which did him 
honour, he offered to take them. When we 
named the kind offer of the captain to the chief 
and his wife, they expressed their delight at the 
prospect of returning, but Auura objected to go 
to their " land of darkness without a light in 
his hand ;" by which he meant some person to 
instruct him and his people in the truths of the 
Gospel. We assembled the members of our 
congregation, mentioned Auura's desire, and 
inquired who among them would go as teachers 
to the heathen of Rurutu. Two of our deacons, 
who were amongst our best men, came forward, 
and, we hope, with the spirit, as well as in the 
language of the prophet, said, "Here we are; 
send us." They were therefore set apart to 
their work by an interesting service. The 
greater part of the night previous to their de- 
parture was spent in providing them with some 
necessary and useful articles. Every member 
of our church brought something as a testimonial 
of his affection ; one a razor, another a knife, a 
third a roll of native cloth, a fourth a pair of 
scissors, and others, various useful tools. We 
supplied them with elementary books, and a few 
copies of the gospels in the Tabitian language, 
from which their own does not materially differ. 
Thus we equipped them for this expedition as 
well as our means would allow. 

As we were anxious to know what reception 
was given to the teachers, and to open a com- 
munication with this, to us, unknown island, 
we sent a boat of our own, with a native crew, 
to bring back intelligence. After an absence of 
little more than a month, we had the pleasure 
of seeing this boat return, laden with the tro- 
phies of victory, the gods of the heathen taken 
in this bloodless war, and won by the power of 
the Prince of Peace. On reading the letters 
which accompanied them, and seeing with our 
own eyes the rejected idols, we felt a measure 
of that sacred joy which the angels of God will 
experience when they shout, " The kingdoms 
of this world are become the kingdoms of our 
God and his Christ." 

A meeting was held in our large chapel to 
communicate the delightful intelligence to our 
people, and to return thanks to God for the 
success with which he had graciously crowned 
our first effort to extend the knowledge of his 

The chapel was lighted up with ten chande- 
liers, made of wood neatly turned; cocoa-nut 
shells were substituted for lamps. The middle 
chandelier held eighteen lights, twelve in the 
lower circle, and six in the upper; the others 
held ten and twelve each. When lighted up, 
they presented to the natives a most brilliant 
appearance, and called forth expressions of asto- 

nishment and delight. In the course of the 
evening the rejected idols were publicly exhi- 
bited from the pulpit. One in particular, Aa, 
the national god of Rurutu, excited considerable 
interest ; for, in addition to his being bedecked 
with little gods outside, a door was discovered 
at his back, on opening which, he was found to 
be full of small gods ; and no less than twenty- 
four were taken out, one after another, and 
exhibited to public view. He is said to be the 
ancestor by whom their island was peopled, and 
who after death was deified. 

Several most interesting addresses were deli- 
vered by the natives on the occasion. The two 
following extracts will give an idea of their 
general character : Tuahine, one of our dea- 
cons, observed, 

" Thus the gods made with hands shall perish. 
There they are, tied with cords! Yes! their 
very names are also changed ! Formerly they 
were called ' Te mate Atua,' or the gods ; now 
they are called ' Te maic Varu mo,' or evil spi- 
rits : Their glory, look ! it is birds' feathers, 
soon rotten ; but our God is the same for ever." 

Tamatoa, the king, also addressed the meet- 
ing; and, perhaps, a finer illustration of the simi- 
litude of the knowledge of the Lord covering 
the earth as the waters cover the channels of the 
great deep, will not readily be found, than was 
used by this Christian chief : 

"Let us," said he, "continue to give our oil 
and arrow-root to God, that the blind may see, 
and the deaf hear. Let us not be weary in this 
good work. We behold the great deep : it is 
full of sea; it is rough and rugged underneath ; 
but the water makes a plain, smooth surface, so 
that nothing of its ruggedness is seen. Our 
lands were rugged and rough with abominable 
and Avicked practices ; but the good word of 
God has made them smooth. Many other coun- 
tries are now rough and rugged with wickedness 
and wicked customs. The word of God alone 
can make these rough places smooth. Let us 
all be diligent in this good work, till the rugged 
world is made smooth by the word of God, as 
the waters cover the ruggedness of the great 
deep. Let us, above all, be concerned to have 
our own hearts washed in Jesus' blood ; then 
God will become our friend, and Jesus our 

He concluded by an interesting allusion to 
the natives of Rurutu. Another speaker, with 
warmth and animation that produced a great 
impression, said, 

"Look at the chandeliers! Oro never taught 
us anything like this ! Look at our wives, in 
their gowns and their bonnets, and compare 
ourselves with the poor natives of Rurutu, when 
they were drifted to our island, and mark the 
superiority ! And by what means have we ob- 
tained it 1 By our own invention and goodness 1 
No ! it is to the good name of Jesus we are 
indebted. Then let us send this name to other 
lands, that others may enjoy the same benefits." 
"Angels," added Uaeva, "would rejoice to be 
employed by God to teach the world this Gospel 
of Christ." 

To prevent the necessity of having again to 



notice this island, I shall mention here one or 
two interesting events in reference to it. Some 
time after the introduction of Christianity into 
Rurutu, a circumstance occurred which afforded 
indubitable proof of its beneficial effects upon 
the minds of the inhabitants, and displayed at 
the same time the great advantages which accrue 
from Missionary labours to our own and other 
maritime countries. Captain Chase, who com- 
manded an American whaler, was in the habit 
of touching frequently at Raiatea for refresh- 
ment. He determined, on his last visit to us, to 
call at Rurutu, on his way to America, in order 
to procure a supply of yams, which are both 
fine and abundant at that island, when, unfor- 
tunately, his vessel was wrecked upon the rocks. 

The natives afforded him very efficient aid ; 
in acknowledgment of which, the captain, on 
his departure, left the following document : 

" The natives gave us all the assistance in 
their power from the time the ship struck to 
the present moment. The first day, while 
landing the things from the ship, they were put 
into the hands of the natives, and carried up to 
the Native Mission-house, a distance of half a 
mile ; and not a single article of clothing was 
taken from any man belonging to the ship, 
though they had it in their power to have plun- 
dered us of every thing that was landed ; which 
fully proves the honesty of the natives of this 
island. Since I have lived on shore, myself, 
officers, and people, have received the kindest 
treatment from the natives that can be imagined, 
for which I shall ever be thankful. Myself and 
officers have lived in the house with Puna, who, 
together with his wife, have paid every attention 
to make us comfortable ; for which I return my 
unfeigned thanks, being the only compensation 
I can make them at present. 

(Signed) "B.Chase." 

A short time after this I received a letter from 
Captain Chase, speaking in the strongest terms 
of the kindness he had experienced, and inform- 
ing me that he had committed the cargo and 
the stores of the vessel to the native teachers ; 
but, as they w r ere not acquainted with the rela- 
tive value of money, he requested me to take 
the first opportunity of selling the property, and 
transmitting the proceeds to the President of 
the Marine Insurance Company in America. 
Some two or three months subsequently to this 
unfortunate occurrence, a trading vessel arrived 
at Tahiti. The captain, hearing of the wreck 
of the Falcon at Rurutu, and that there were 
only native Missionaries at the island, imagined 
that he could easily deceive them, and obtain 
the property ; and, therefore, instead of coming 
to Raiatea, and making a fair purchase of me, 
he raised his anchor, and steered direct for 
Rurutu. On landing he was welcomed by the 
native Missionary, to whom he stated that he 
had come for the oil belonging to the late Fal- 
con. The Missionary asked him if he had not 
a letter from Beni. " Certainly," replied the 
captain, " but I have come from my ship with- 
out it; I will return for it immediately." He 
went off to his vessel, and wrote an order, with 
which he returned to the shore : and, affirming 

that it was from Captain Chase, he put it into 
the hands of the Missionary. The natives are 
very unsophisticated at times, in the expression 
of their sentiments ; and, looking the captain 
significantly in the face, the teacher, in his 
broken English, said, " You a liar, you a thief, 
you want to steal this property you no have 
it." The captain, being much enraged at this 
salutation, or more probably at being disap- 
pointed of his expected booty, began to bluster 
and storm. The teacher, however, took the 
captain by the hand, led him into his house, 
then opened his native journal, in which he 
had taken the precaution to get Captain Chase 
to write, and, placing the forged paper by the 
side of this writing, he repeated his charge 
"You a liar, you a thief, you shall not have this 
property." The captain threatened to go on 
board, load his cannon, and take it by force. 
He left the shore in anger ; but, instead of car- 
rying his threat into execution, he hoisted his 
sails and took his departure. We never ascer- 
tained from whence he came, nor whither he 
went. This circumstance shows that the con- 
duct of civilized visiters is not, at all times, cal- 
culated to raise the European character in the 
estimation of the natives. It shows, also, that 
the natives are not destitute of good sound 
common sense ; while at the same time it exhi- 
bits, in a striking light, the advantages the 
people have derived from education. 

Captain Chase rewarded the natives for the 
assistance they rendered, in saving the cargo 
and stores of the vessel, by giving them a 
portion of the oil. They immediately formed a 
Native Missionary Society, and contributed a 
considerable part of what they had thus ob- 
tained in aid of the funds of the institution from 
whose operations they had derived so much 
advantage ; and, in a visit I paid them some 
time after, they presented me with a set of bills 
for Gb7., which they had received from the 
captain to whom they had sold their contribu- 
tions ! It was with much pleasure that I trans- 
mitted this expression of their gratitude to the 
Treasurer of the Society. 

This island was visited by the Deputation,* 
some twelve or fifteen months after the intro- 
duction of the Gospel ; respecting which, in 
their communications, they remark, " Now the 
designs of God, in sending us winds which we 
thought adverse, were explained, in affording us 
an opportunity of visiting this beautiful little 
island. When Ave reached it, we were not 
certain what island it was, but were greatly 
surprised to see several neat-looking white 
houses at the head of the bay. From this we 
concluded that the Gospel had reached its 
shores. A pier, a quarter of a mile in length, 
had been constructed of vast coral blocks, as at 
some of the Society Islands, which afforded a 
convenient landing-place. We were kindly in- 
vited to the houses of the Missionaries, when 
we received every possible attention from them 
and from the natives, who supplied us with 
baked pigs, fowls, and yams in profusion. 

* The Rev Dr. Tyerman, and G Bennet, Esq., sent by 
the Directors to v. sit all these stations. 




" Besides the two comfortable houses of the 
Missionaries, we were surprised to find a large 
place of worship, eighty feet by thirty-six, 
wattled, plastered, well floored, and seated, 
built within a twelvemonth, at the expense of 
great labour, by these industrious people, under 
the direction of the two native Missionaries, 
who performed a great part of the work with 
their own hands. Mr. Ellis preached several 
times to the people, when every individual in 
the island attended. Many of the chiefs were 
dressed in European clothing, and all were 
attired in the most decent and becoming man- 
ner. In the house of God no congregation 
could have behaved with more propriety; all 
was solemnity. 

" Here our eyes were struck, and our hearts 
affected, by the appearance of certain simple 
yet signal trophies of ' the word of God* which 
in these islands is really going forth conquering 
and to conquer. These were ' spears,' not in- 
deed ' beaten into pruning-hooks,' but converted 
into staves to support the balustrade of the 
pulpit staircase : for the people here ' learn war 
no more ;' but all, submitting to the Prince of 
Peace, have cast away their instruments of 
cruelty with their idols. 

"Not a vestige of idolatry was to be seen, not 
a god was to be found in the island. So great 
a change effected in so short a time is almost 
beyond credibility; but we witnessed it with 
our own eyes, and exclaimed, ' What hath God 
wrought!' " 

By the remarkable success that had attended 
the introduction of the Gospel to Rurutu, our own 
minds, as well as those of our people, were power- 
fully awakened to the great importance of ex- 
tending the benefits and blessings of the 
Gospel ; and, under the excited and delightful 
feelings thus produced, we, with our native 
teachers, took an affectionate leave of our 
people, and beloved colleagues, Mr. and Mrs. 
Threlkeld, and steered for the Hervey Islands. 
On the arrival of the vessel at Aitutaki, we 
were very soon surrounded by canoes ; the 
natives were exceedingly noisy, and presented 
in their persons and manners all the wild 
features of savage life. Some were tatooed from 
head to foot ; some were painted most fantasti- 
cally with pipe-clay and yellow and red-ochre ; 
others were smeared all over with charcoal ; 
and in this state were dancing, shouting, and 
exhibiting the most frantic gestures. We in- 
vited the chief Tamatoa on board the vessel. A 
number of his people followed him. Finding 
that I could converse readily in their language, 
I informed the chief of what had taken place in 
the Tahitian and Society Islands with respect 
to the overthrow of idolatry. He asked me, 
very significantly, where great Tangaroa was"? 
I told him that he, with all the other gods, was 
burned. He then inquired where Koro of 
Raiateawas 1 ? I replied, that he too was con- 
sumed with fire ; and that I had brought two 
teachers to instruct him and his people in the 
word and knowledge of the true God, that he 
and they also might be induced to abandon and 
destroy their idols, as others had done. On my 

introducing the teachers to him, he asked me 
if they would accompany him to the shore. I 
replied in the affirmative, and proposed that 
they should remain with him. He seized them 
with delight, and saluted them most heartily by 
rubbing noses, which salutation he continued 
for some time. On the chief promising me 
that he would treat the teachers with kindness, 
and afford them protection, taking with them 
their little store, they got into his large canoe, 
and the natives paddled off to the land, ap- 
parently greatly delighted with their treasure. 
We had with us our only child, a fine boy 
about four years of age. He was the first 
European child they had seen, and attracted 
so much notice, that every native wished to rub 
noses with the little fellow. They expressed 
their sorrow that so young and lovely a child 
" should be exposed to the dangers of the wide- 
spreading boisterous ocean," and begged hard 
that I would give him to them. I asked them 
what they would do with him, for 1 feared they 
were cannibals. The chief replied, that they 
would take the greatest care of him, and make 
him king. As, however, neither his mother 
nor myself were ambitious of royal honours for 
our dear boy, we declined their offer. The 
people became clamorous in their demands for 
the child, and a good deal of whispering going 
on among them, with the significant gestures of 
first looking at the child, then over the side of 
the vessel, his mother was induced to hasten 
with him into the cabin, lest they should snatch 
him from her, leap with him into the sea, and 
swim to the shore. In the course of conversa- 
tion with the chief, I learned that several islands, 
of which I had heard our natives speak, when 
reciting their legendary tales, were not far 
distant, and that some of them were very 
populous, especially Rarotonga. This informa- 
tion much increased in my estimation the in- 
terest of the Aitutaki Mission. 

Thus it will appear that the year 1821 was 
fraught with important events. It was, in fact, 
a period of great things. In this year our 
native Missionary Society was formed, and our 
first Missionary meeting held. In this year also 
our Missionary interest was excited by a 
striking providence, which ended in the utter 
renunciation of idolatry, and the reception of 
the Gospel, by the inhabitants of Rurutu. In 
the same year, too, by distressing afflictions, 
which we deeply deplored at the time, opera- 
tions for extending the boundaries of the 
Redeemer's kingdom were commenced, which 
have been attended with the most delightful 
results, and which have been continued with 
great success ever since. 

This is the more remarkable, because, on 
account of health, we expected that my labours 
in that part of the Missionary field were about 
to terminate ; for we had actually made prepa- 
rations for returning to England in the vessel 
that brought home the Missionary contributions. 
But, feeling a reluctance to abandon the work, 
we determined to try the effect of a visit to 
New South Wales. 

Thus we are able to recognise the gracious 



hand of God in all that has occurred. We 
little thought at the time to what these things 
would grow. But He in whose work we were 
engaged is the Wonderful Counsellor, the 
government is upon his shoulders, and he over- 
rules all human events for the furtherance of 
his designs of mercy. We shall find much 
pleasure, as we proceed, in noticing the numer- 
ous and striking interpositions of God on our 


Mission to Aitutaki Tradition about Rarotonga Voy- 
age of Messrs. Bourne and the author Success at 
Aitutaki Our intercourse witli the People Informa- 
tion about Rarotoiga Search for it Papeiha's Nana- 


Having derived much advantage from a few 
months' residence in New South Wales, we 
returned, with recruited vigour, to our delight- 
ful labours, after an absence of about eight 
months, and were cordially welcomed by our 
beloved brethren and people. 

In April, 1822, we received letters from 
Papeiha and Vahapata, stating the dangers to 
which they had been exposed, and the partial 
success that had attended their efforts, and re- 
questing that two more labourers might be 
sent to assist them. The vessel which brought 
these had touched at Aitutaki on her way from 
the Society Islands to New South Wales, to 
deliver some books, presents, and letters, which 
we sent there by her. With these Faaori, a 
native of Raiatea, went on shore. The idola- 
ters crowded around him, seized him, led him 
before the marae, and formally delivered him 
up to their gods. Faaori, looking up at an im 
mense idol, struck it, and said to the idolaters, 
" Why do you not burn this evil spirit, and this 
marae 1 They are Satan's : why do you suffer 
them to remain 1 What you are now regarding 
is all deceit." The idolaters replied, " We are 
all ignorant ; we have been kept in darkness by 
Satan a long time, and we do not know the 
truth." Faaori answered, " This is the truth that 
your teachers have brought you ; receive it, and 
be saved." Upon hearing which, they said to 
him, "When you return tell Viriamu, (Mr. 
Williams,) if he will visit us, we will burn our 
idols, destroy our maraes, and receive the word 
of the true God." Together with this commu- 
nication, we received the very important infor- 
mation, that there were several natives at Aitu- 
taki, from an adjacent island, called Rarotonga, 
who had embraced the Gospel, and were very 
anxious to return to their own island, with 
teachers to instruct their countrymen in the same 
blessed truths. These circumstances appeared 
to us providential openings for the introduction 
of the Gospel into the whole group of islands, 
respecting several of which I received informa- 
tion when I first visited Aitutaki. Of Rarotonga, 
also, we had heard much from our own people ; 
for in many of their legendary tales, especially 
in those of their voyagers, Rarotonga is fre- 
quently mentioned. 

In conversation with an old priest, who at 

that time was a decided and excellent Christian, 
respecting the situation of Rarotonga, he in- 
formed me that there was a tradition that it 
was formaery united to the southern extremity 
of Raiatea, but that the gods had carried it 
away. I asked him whither they were said to 
have conveyed it 1 when he replied, that he did 
not know, but it was believed they had 
taken it to the south. Upon this, I inquired 
the reason of the gods carrying away so valuable 
a neighbour as an island and its inhabitants 1 
and he informed me that the natives of Raro- 
tonga, in the exercise of their piety, had made 
a large drum, called Tai-moana, or the Sounder 
of the Seas, which they sent by the hands of 
two priests, as a present to Oro, the god of war, 
whose residence was the great marae, at Opoa, 
in Raiatea, and that after the priests from 
Rarotonga had dedicated Tai-moana, some 
untoward circumstances occurred, which in- 
duced the Raiateans to kill them. The gods 
were so much enraged that persons who had 
brought so valuable a present should be killed, 
that they took up the island, with its population, 
and carried it completely away. From some 
parts of this fabulous legend we were convinced 
that the island was in existence, and that it 
was an island of considerable importance. 
From another tradition, which stated what was 
universally believed, we learned that a chief, 
named Iouri, many years before, had built a 
large native pahi, or ship ; and, being of an 
enterprising spirit, he determined to go in search 
of other countries, when, after traversing the 
ocean for a length of time, he reached Raro- 
tonga ; from which place he returned in safety 
to Raiatea, bringing with him a female, who 
became the wife of Tamatoa, the king of that 
island, and an ancestor of the late excellent 
chief of that name. From hence, also, Iouri 
brought a quantity of mahi, or preserved bread- 
fruit, which was dedicated to the god Oro, at 
the celebrated marae at Opoa, in Raiatea, the 
grand emporium of idolatry to Tahiti, the 
Society, and the surrounding islands ; and from 
that time it became an object of ambition with 
every adventurous chief to discover other lands, 
and, on his return, to bring some article of 
value to his own island. The information thus 
obtained was, that Rarotonga was a large and 
beautiful island, with a population so great, 
that it was divided, into nine-and-twenty 
districts. This traditional information, as to 
the existence of the island, was now confirmed 
beyond the possibility of a doubt, as there were 
several people at Aitutaki from the very island, 
anxiously waiting an opportunity to return 
home, to make known to their deluded friends 
and countrymen the wonderful truths of which 
they were in possession. 

After consultation and prayer with my es- 
teemed colleagues, Messrs. Threlkeld and 
Bourne, it was determined that Mr. Bourne and 
myself should embrace the first opportunity of 
proceeding to the island of Aitutaki, by hiring 
a vessel for the purpose ; that we should also 
take a number of native Missionaries with us, 
search for Rarotonga, and attempt to introduce 



the Gospel into every island of the Hervey 
group. And, little as we think of it now, it 
was a great undertaking at that time, when 
nothing accurately was known of the islands or 
their inhabitants. 

Four Missionaries, with their wives, were 
selected from our church at Raiatea, and two 
from Tahaa. These were set apart for their 
work by a solemn service on the evening pre- 
ceding our departure. Our people took so 
lively an interest in the undertaking, that, by 
their willing contributions, they completely 
equipped the Missionaries for the voyage, and 
for their stations, without any expense to the 

After about five days' pleasant sail, we reached 
Aitutaki. A number of canoes crowded around 
us, filled with men, every one of whom was 
anxious to get on board our ship. We had, 
however, determined not to allow any canoes 
alongside, until we had seen either the chief or 
one of the teachers ; for, had the natives been 
hostile, they could easily have captured our 
small vessel. We received a grateful salutation 
from every canoe that approached us. Some of 
the natives cried out, " Good is the word of 
God : it is now well with Aitutaki 1 The good 
word has taken root at Aitutaki!" Finding, 
however, that we did not repose entire confi- 
dence in their assertions, some held up their 
hats,* others their spelling-books, to convince 
us of the truth of what they stated. As we 
approached the settlement, we beheld, from the 
vessel, a flag-staff with a white flag flying, 
which satisfied us that the teachers were alive. 
At length the chiefs canoe came alongside, 
when we learned from Tebati, one of the first 
who embraced the Gospel, that the maraes 
were burned ; that the idols which had escaped 
the general conflagration were in the possession 
of the teachers ; that the profession of Christi- 
anity was general, so much so, indeed, that not 
a single idolater remained ; and that a large 
chapel was erected, nearly 200 feet in length, 
plastered, and awaiting my arrival to open it. 
This news was as delightful as it was unex- 
pected. When the teachers came on board, 
they not only confirmed all that had been told 
us, but added, that the Sabbath was regarded 
as a sacred day, no work of any kind being 
done on it ; that all the people, men, women, 
and children, attended Divine service ; and that 
family prayer was very general throughout the 
island. At hearing this good news, joy beamed 
in every countenance, and gratitude glowed in 
every heart. We hastened to the shore to be 
eye-witnesses of what had been effected. The 
natives crowded around the boat, and having 
to drag it a considerable distance, they amused 
and delighted us ; for, instead of the unsightly 
gesticulations and lascivious songs with which 
I was greeted on my first visit, some were now 
spelling long words, and others were repeating 
portions of the catechism, or a prayer; another 
asking a blessing on his food ; and others sing- 

* The European-shaped hat was worn only by the 
Christian party, the idolaters retaining their heathen 
head-dresses, war-cups, ike, 

ing a verse of a hymn : indeed, every one ap- 
peared anxious to show what progress he had 
made in the new religion. 

Shortly after landing, we convened a meeting 
of the chiefs and people, at which we expressed 
our joy at hearing and seeing that they had 
demolished their maraes, embraced the Gospel 
of Christ, and erected sc fine and large a house 
for the worship of the one living and true God. 
We also informed them that we had brought 
two more teachers, who, with their wives, would 
reside with them, and to whom they must show 
kindness. We further intimated, that, if agree- 
able, we would open the chapel on the following 
morning, when they must lay aside their heathen- 
ish ornaments, wash themselves clean, and clothe 
themselves decently; to which they consented. 
We asked them if they had any reply to make. 
They said no, but wished that we would continue 
to talk with them, for they were delighted to hear 
us. After this interview, we went to see the 
chapel. It was a fine building, from 180 to 200 
feet in length, and almost thirty feet wide, wattled 
and plastered, and built after the model of our 
chapel at Raiatea. The pulpit was rather sin- 
gular, both in its size, construction, and appear- 
ance, being about two yards square, made of 
wattling, and plastered with the same materials 
as the walls of the chapel. I gazed upon the 
building with wonder and delight. We then 
went to the teachers' house, and found it to be 
a neat, well-built cottage, plastered and divided 
into five rooms. We commended them sin- 
cerely for the diligence they had evinced, and 
for the good example they had thus set to the 
people. Posts, for houses on a similar plan, 
were collected in every part of the settlement ; 
many dwellings were already erected, and others 
were in progress. Bedsteads had been made, 
and hung with white native cloth, in imitation 
of those of their teachers. Little did I expect 
to see so much accomplished in so short a time. 
Eighteen months ago they were the wildest 
people I had ever witnessed : now they had 
become mild ana docile, diligent and kind. 

Next day, while in the midst of an interesting 
conversation, our attention was arrested by a 
ringing sound. This was produced by striking 
an axe with a stone, which contrivance Mas 
their substitute for a bell. The ringer, or rather 
striker, was followed through the settlement by 
a number of men and women, decently dressed 
in white cloth, and, when the congregation was 
assembled, we entered the spacious chapel. The 
six teachers, with their wives, together with 
Papeiha amd Yahapata, took their seats in front 
of the pulpit. As they were all clothed in 
European dresses, their appearance excited much 
surprise and interest; indeed, it was to the 
Aitutakians an ocular demonstration of the 
beneficial effects of Christianity. My esteemed 
colleague commenced the service with reading, 
singing, and prayer. I then preached my first 
sermon to them, from one of the most delightful 
texts in the Bible, " God so loved the world," 
&c. ; and I may add, at all the islands I have 
visited, from that time to the present, my first 
address has invariably been founded, either upon 



that passage, or upon I Tim. i. 15, "This is a 
faithful saying," &c. It was, indeed, a delight- 
ful sight to behold from 1500 to 2000 people 
just emerged from heathenism, of the most 
uncultivated appearance, some with long beards, 
others decorated with gaudy ornaments, but all 
behaving with the greatest decorum, and attend- 
ing, with glistening eyes and open mouth, to 
the wonderful story, that " God so loved the 
world, as to give his only-begotten Son." Many 
of them, however, were dressed very neatly ; 
and I could not help contrasting their ap- 
pearance with that which they presented on 
our first visit. At that time, also, they were 
constantly killing, and even eating each other, 
for they were cannibals ; but now they were 
all, with one accord, bending their knees together 
in the worship of the God of peace and love. 

The grandfather of the young king expressed 
a wish to accompany us to Raiatea ; and, as it 
would afford him an opportunity of witnessing 
the beneficial effects of the Gospel in the Society 


Islands, and be a source of much gratification 
to our own people, we thought it desirable to 
accede to his request. We were desirous also 
that the young king, his grandson, might ac- 
company him ; for we had an impression that 
they might be of great service tc us at the vari- 
ous heathen islands which we intended to visit. 

The natives of Rarotonga also were desired 
to prepare themselves for their voyage. The 
Aitutakians endeavoured to dissuade us from 
going to Rarotonga, by assuring us that the 
Rarotongans were a most ferocious people, that 
they were horrid cannibals, and exceedingly 
treacherous ; and they feared, if we went, that 
we should lose our lives. This was very im- 
portant, although discouraging information. 

Wishing for a few quiet hours to consult re- 
specting our future proceedings, we determined 
to spend the evening on board the ship. The 
gods and bundles of gods, which had escaped 
destruction, thirty-one in number, were carried 
in triumph to the boat ; and we came off to the 

vessel with the trophies of our bloodless con- 
quest, " rejoicing as one that findeth great spoil." 

After much consultation on the subject, we 
determined, at all events, to go in search of 
Rarotonga, concluding that the work must have 
a commencement ; that it would, at all times, 
be attended with danger ; that natives of the 
island had been providentially thrown in our 
way ; that we had come for the purpose of 
attempting to introduce the Gospel among 
them; and that, therefore, after taking every 
precaution which prudence suggested for our 
own safety, we would commit ourselves to the 
protection of Him in whose work we were 
engaged. We concluded, also, to take Papeiha 
with us, as he would be of great service in our 
intercourse with the people. 

During the time we spent at Aitutaki, many 
incidents occurred, of which the following is a 
specimen : 

While walking through the settlement, we 
saw two grim-looking gods in a more dishonour- 
able situation than they had been wont to 
occupy, for they were sustaining upon their 
heads the whole weight of the roof of a cook- 
ing-house. Wishing to make them more useful, 
we offered to purchase them from their former 
worshipper. He instantly propped up the house, 
took out the idols, and threw them down ; and, 
while they were prostrate on the ground, he 
No. 2. 

gave them a kick, saying, " There your reign 
is at an end." 

On receiving two fish-hooks, he was highly 
delighted. What a revolution of sentiment and 
feeling ! A few months before, this man was a 
deluded worshipper of these senseless stocks ! 

After giving the teachers such advice and 
instructions as we deemed necessary, and ex- 
horting the chief and people to abandon all 
thoughts of war, to treat captains and crews of 
ships with kindness, to be upright and honest in 
their dealings with them, to be kind to their 
teachers, and diligent in attending to their in- 
structions, we took our leave of Aitutaki with 
feelings of the liveliest and most devout grati- 
tude to God, having derived from the visit 
great encouragement to proceed in our work. 

We traversed the ocean for several days in 
search of Rarotonga, but without success. Dur- 
ing this time I received from Papeiha an in- 
teresting detail of the dangers to which the 
teachers had been exposed, the labours in which 
they had been engaged, and the circumstances 
by which the people of Aitutaki had been in- 
duced to abandon idolatry. It would occupy 
too much space to narrate more than a few 
particulars. On landing, they were led to the 
maraes, and given up formally to the gods ; the 
poor deluded people, little imagining that, in a 
few short months, by the instrumentality of the 




very persons they were thus dedicating to 
then:, " their gods would be famished out of the 
land." Subsequently, war had thrice broken 
out, and all their property had been stolen 
from them. But, when I asked Papeihaif they 
were not discouraged by these frequent wars 
" No," he replied, " we knew that all was in 
the hand of God ; and we believed that he 
would make it a means of overthrowing idolatry 
in the island." 

The first favourable impression appears to 
have been produced by a tour which the teach- 
ers made of the island. They stayed a few 
days at every district, conversing with the in- 
habitants, and teaching them the alphabet, and 
the Lord's Prayer. On reaching the district of, 
Tautu, they held, in the presence of a great 
assemblage of people, an argument with an old 
priest, who vociferated, " Te-erui made all 
lands, he made Aitutaki ; and after he had 
made it he gave it its present form, by moulding 
it with his hands." The teachers answered 
that it was not so ; that God alone had power 
to create, and that he made Aitutaki, and every 
other land. The priest continued vociferating 
about the greatness of Te-erui, and asserted that 
he was tho first man. The teachers asked him 
who was Te-erui's parent. He replied, " O 
Te-tareva." They then inquired of him whence 
Te-tareva came: he said, "From Avaiki." 
Wishing to know where Avaiki was ; he said, 
" It is beneath : Te-tareva climbed up from it ; 
and because he arrived at the top he was called 
by that name ;" whereupon the teachers said 
" This land, then, was made before Te-tareva 
arrived "I" " Most certainly," replied the priest. 

" Then," continued they, " how can Te-erui 
be the maker of a land which you say was made 
before even his parent Te-tareva came up from 
beneath 1" This appeared to perplex the priest, 
and he was silent. They then addressed the 
assembled multitude, upon the being of God, 
affirming, that before anything was made he 
only existed, and that he was without beginning, 
and is without end. From this topic they pro- 
ceeded to speak of angels, and of one portion of 
them falling from their original happiness, which 
was followed by a detailed account of the crea- 
tion of the world. All this was new to the 
people ; and the interest excited by the an- 
nouncement appears to have been intense ; for, 
if the slightest noise was made, there was a 
general cry of " Be still, be still, let us hear." 
Thus encouraged, the teachers went on to 
describe the creation of our first parents ; their 
being placed in the garden of Eden ; their trans- 
gression, with its consequences ; and the love 
of God in giving his dear Son to die a sacrifice 
for sinful man. On hearing which they ex- 
claimed, with one accord, " Surely this is the 
truth ; ours is all deceit." From that time 
many began to listen attentively, and to believe 
what they heard. 


Papeiha's Narrative continued Remarkable Incidents 
at Tahiti Effect upon the Aitutakians at seeing Lime 
burnt Unsuccessful search fur Rarolonga Go tu 
Mangaia Incidents there Abandon it, in consequence 
of the cruel Treatment the Missionaries' Wives ex- 

The progress of Christianity at Aitutaki appears 
to have been gradual, the converts at times 
suffering much from the rage of their heathen 
countrymen, until the month of December, 
1S22, rather more than a year after my first 
visit; when two circumstances contributed to 
the utter overthrow of idolatry in this island. 
The first was the arrival of the vessel from 
Raiatea, which we had promised to send. The 
teachers had told the people that a ship would 
come to inquire after their welfare, and to bring 
them presents and information from their 
friends. This was believed by a few ; but the 
greater part called them " Two logs of drift- 
wood, washed on shore by the waves of the 
ocean, " and said that no ship would ever come 
to inquire after them. Her arrival, however, 
set the matter at rest ; and, as the captain 
showed kindness to the chiefs, and made several 
of them presents of axes and other useful things, 
their opposition to the teachers was not a little 

There being no quadrupeds in the island, but 
a few millions of rats, we sent from Raiatea a 
number of pigs and goats ; with a variety of 
useful articles, which our people had contributed. 
The teachers gave the pigs and goats to the 
king's grandfather, and he, on the following- 
morning, distributed them among the various 
chiefs of the island. A powerful impression 
was thus very generally produced in favour of 
Christianity. " Behold," said the people, " we 



called these men drift-wood, and they have rich 
friends, who have sent an English ship to in- 
quire after them, and bring them property, such 
as we never saw before '. We ridiculed and 
called them liars, and behold they are men 
of truth 1" A few days after the vessel had 
sailed a general wish was expressed by the 
people to renounce heathenism, and place them- 
selves under Christian instruction. The old 
grandfather of Tamatoa, however, was firm in 
his determination to adhere to his heathen super- 
stitions ; for being, at this time, in the midst 
of an idolatrous feast, which was of several 
weeks' continuance, notwithstanding the wishes 
of the people, the old chieftain determined to 
remain at the marae and complete the sacred 
ceremonies. While yet there, a beloved daugh- 
ter was taken dangerously ill. The priests 
were immediately on the alert, presenting nume- 
rous offerings, and invoking the gods from 
morning to evening, day after day, in order to 
induce them to restore the child to health. 
The disease, however, increased, and the girl 
died. The chief was so much affected at the 
death of his daughter, that he determined at 
once to abandon the gods who were so ungrate- 
ful as to requite his zeal with such manifest 
unkindness, and therefore sent his son early 
next morning to set fire to his marae. Two 
other maraes near it caught fire, and were also 
consumed. From thence the son, enraged with 
the gods for destroying his sister, proceeded to 
a large marae, before which the people were 
presenting their offerings, and attempted to set 
it on fire ; but was prevented by the wor- 
shippers, who seized and dragged him away. 

By such circumstances does God, in number- 
less instances, work upon the minds of men. 
This remark may be illustrated by two import- 
ant incidents which occurred at Tahiti, one of 
which resembled that which took place at 

When Pomare, the king of Tahiti, first de- 
termined to embrace Christianity, and attempt 
the introduction of it among his people, before 
taking any decided steps, he convened a num- 
ber of powerful and influential chiefs, and 
stated his wishes to them. Yery many made 
strong objections to the proposed innovation ; 
but Tenania, and his wife, who were reigning 
chiefs of a neighbouring island, cordially ap- 
proved of the king's proposition, stating that 
they themselves had almost come to a deter- 
mination to burn their god. This feeling had 
been induced by the death of a beloved and 
only daughter, who was to inherit their titles 
and estates ; and, as might be expected, was 
the object in which their affections centered, 
and on whom their hopes were placed. She 
was a fine girl, about fifteen or sixteen years of 
age ; and when she was unexpectedly taken ill, 
every priest of note, far and near, was applied 
to, and every god propitiated with the most 
costly offerings which it was in the power of 
this mighty chief to command. Still the dis- 
ease increased, and the child died ; and as this 
happened only a short time before Pomare 
made his important proposition, Tenania and 

his wife were well prepared by it to enter most 
cordially into the king's wishes ; for they were 
bitterly enraged against the gods they had in 
vain endeavoured to conciliate. Thus Pomare 
had the influence of a powerful chief on his 
side, on the very first announcement of his in- 
tentions. Tapoa, another chief of equal name, 
was present at this important consultation. 
He was a mighty warrior, the Buonaparte of 
the Tahitian and Society Islands ; and, having 
conquered all the latter, had come to Tahiti, 
ostensibly to assist Pomare in regaining his 
ascendancy in that island, but actually to con- 
quer it for himself. Tapoa was a bigoted 
idolater, and, at the meeting in question, ex- 
pressed his full determination to oppose, in 
every possible way, so impious an innovation as 
the destruction of the gods. Although ill at 
the time, he removed immediately to Tahiti, for 
the purpose of making arrangements for the 
battles he expected to fight ; but disease made 
rapid inroads upon his constitution, and he died 
very shortly after he had attended the meeting 
of his brother chieftains. It is the general 
opinion of intelligent natives to the present day, 
that, had Tapoa lived, Christianity could not 
then have been introduced among the people. 
These events, therefore, show us that, although 
the age of miracles has ceased, God has ample 
means of effecting the purposes of his love by 
the ordinary interpositions of his providence, 
which are equally mighty to the pulling down 
of the strongholds of heathen superstition, and 
in removing obstacles to the progress of his 

As at Tahiti, so at Aitutaki, the downfal of 
idolatry was accelerated by ordinary occurrences, 
in which, however, a Divine agency was too 
conspicuous to escape observation. So general 
and powerful was the impression on the minds 
of the people of Aitutaki, by the circumstances 
I have narrated, that, on the Sabbath day after 
the death of the chiefs daughter, the people of 
several districts came, cast their idols at the feet 
of the teachers, and professed themselves wor- 
shippers of Jehovah. During the week the 
rest followed ; so that, by the next Sabbath, 
not a professional idolater remained in the 
whole island. On the third Sabbath in Decem- 
ber, just about fifteen months after the teachers 
landed on their shores, they had the delightful 
satisfaction of seeing the whole of the inhabitants 
convened to worship the one living and true 
God. Having no house which would contain 
so great a number of people, they assembled 
under the shade of a grove of Barringtonia and 
mape, or chestnut-trees, whose interwoven 
leaves and thick foliage were at intervals pene- 
trated by the rays of the sun, while the cooling 
breeze from the ocean swept softly among the 

At the conclusion of the services of this 
memorable day, Papciha requested the people 
to attend a general meeting which was to be 
held on the following morning, when subjects 
of importance would be brought before them. 
At the appointed hour, the whole of the in- 
habitants of the island assembled, and, after 




having spoken to them of the immense labour 
they formerly bestowed in the erection of their 
maraes in the worship of their false gods, he 
exhorted them to let their " strength, devoted- 
ness, and steadfastness in the service of the true 
God, far exceed." He then made the two 
following propositions : first, " That all the 
maraes in the island should be burned, and that 
all the remaining idols should be brought to 
him, in order that he might forward them to us 
at Raiatea, that we, with our people, might also 
rejoice in the triumphs of the Word." The 
second proposition was, " That they should 
commence immediately building a house in 
which to worship Jehovah." To both these 
proposals the assembled multitude yielded their 
cordial assent. As soon as the meeting broke 
up, a general conflagration of the maraes took 
place ; and so complete was the destruction, 
that, on the following morning, not a single 
idnl temple remained unmutilated. 

The whole population then came in pro- 
cession, district after district, the chief and 
priest leading the way, and the people following 
them, bearing their rejected idols, which they 
laid at the teachers' feet, and then received 
from them in return a few copies of the Gospels 
and elementary books. Thus were the labours 
of two comparatively weak instruments rendered 
" mighty through God" in effecting the utter 
overthrow of an idolatry, dark, debasing, and 
sanguinary, which had shrouded the by-gone 
geneiations of this verdant little island, and 
held them bound in its fetters. 

They commenced, immediately, the erection 
of their chapel. The construction of the Aitu- 
taki houses being different from those of Tahiti, 
and not well adapted for a large building, the 
teachers had to attend and direct the builders 
in every particular. When the frame-work was 
v.p, they took a reed's length of thatch and 
thatched up to the ridge pole ; and, when the 
people saw how it was done, they were so 
diligent in their good work, that in two days 
the whole roof, 200 feet in length, was com- 

Having been taught at Raiatea the art of 
making lime from coral rock, the teachers de- 
termined to plaster the chapel, and therefore 
desired the chiefs to send their people to cut 
clown a large portion of iire-wood ; and when 
this was done, they requested them to send to 
the sea for a quantity of coral rock, which was 
brought to the shore and piled upon the wood. 
The natives did as they were desired, but could 
not imagine what all this singular process of 
preparation was to effect. At length, the teach- 
ers requested them to set light to the fire-wood ; 
and, as soon as it began to blaze, they could 
contain themselves no longer, but commenced 
shouting, " Oh these foreigners, they are roast- 
ing stones '. they are roasting stones ! come, 
hurricane, and blow down our bananas and our 
bread-fruit ; we shall never suffer from famine 
again ; these foreigners are teaching us to roast 
stones." The Missionaries told them to wait pa- 
tiently, and they would see the result. At day- 
light the following morning they hastened to the 

spot, and, to their utter astonishment, the burnt 
coral was reduced to a beautiful powder ; and 
they were so surprised and delighted at its softness 
and whiteness, that they actually whitewashed 
their hats and native garments, and strutted about 
the settlement, admiring each other exceedingly. 
A space in the chapel being wattled, the teach- 
ers mixed up a portion of the " roasted stone'' 
with some sand, and plastered it on the space 
which had been prepared, taking care to cover 
it up with mats, and to send the people away, 
lest, prompted by their curiosity, they should 
scratch it down before it became hard. Early 
on the next morning they all hastened to see 
this wonderful sight. The chiefs and common 
people, men, women, and children, hurried to 
the spot ; and. when the covering was removed, 
a sheet of beautifully white plastering was pre- 
sented to their astonished view. All pressed 
forward to examine it ; some smelling it, some 
scratching it, whilst others took stones and struck 
it, exclaiming, as they retired, " Wonderful, won- 
derful ! The very stones in the sea, and the sand 
on the shore, become good property, in the 
hands of those who worship the true God, and 
regard his good word." Thus singular and 
beneficial was the impression produced by the 
introduction of useful arts among this people. 

Not succeeding, after six or eight days' search, 
in discovering Rarotonga, we steered for Man- 
gaia. On reaching the island, we descried a 
number of the natives, on a sandy beach, waving 
a white flag, which is a signal universally under- 
stood in the islands of the Pacific, as intimating 
a wish for friendly intercourse, or, rather, that 
the parties waving it should be approached. 
We replied by a similar signal, to induce them 
to come off to us ; but as they showed no dis- 
position to accept our invitation, a boat was 
lowered from the vessel, and Papeiha, with two 
other teachers, approached the shore. We gave 
them strict injunctions not to land, but to con- 
verse with the natives from the boat ; stating 
who we were, and the object of our visit, and 
to endeavour by all means to induce the chief 
of the island to come off with them. The boat 
returned without success. After some time two 
canoes approached us, and our boat went to- 
wards them ; on perceiving which, they paddled 
away as fast as it was in their power, leaped on 
shore, seized their spears, and placed them- 
selves in an attitude of defence. The boat again 
returned without accomplishing the object of 
our wishes. The natives came off a third time, 
when we sent our boat again towards them, 
and, by the exhibition of knives and mother-of- 
pearl oyster-shells, they were induced to allow 
themselves to be brought to the vessel. After 
we had so far succeeded, we found equal diffi- 
culty in getting any one of them to ascend the 
ship, although we presented to them the chiefs 
from Aitutaki, and the people of Rarotonga, 
who used all their eloquence to convince them 
that there was nothing to fear, for that ours was 
" a ship of God." After much persuasion, one 
man ventured on board ; and the other, as soon 
as he perceived that the canoe was unloosed 
from the boat, paddled off in great glee, and 



appeared determined not again to place himself 
in so much jeopardy, by approaching the vessel. 
The man who had ventured on board was much 
agitated : and every muscle in his Herculean 
frame appeared in motion. He inquired par- 
ticularly the vessel's name, saying, that it was 
the second they had seen ; Tute (Captain Cook's) 
beinsj the first. Being near the landing-place, 
we proposed that he should accompany the 
teachers to the shore ; and, apparently de- 
lighted with the proposition, with hasty steps 
he descended the ship's side into his canoe, 
under a pretence of throwing out the water ; 
but, finding himself once more safely seated in 
his own little bark, he untied the rope and 
paddled away as if for his life, not staying even 
to gaze upon the dangers he had escaped. 
Thus our hopes were again blasted. In a con- 
sultation upon the subject with the teachers, 
Papeiha said to us that he should have no 
objection to land among them. There being no 
openings in the reef, through which the boat 
could pass to the shore, with a readiness and 
devotedness that heightened him in the estima- 
tion of every one present, he offered to leap into 
the sea, and swim through the surf. Being 
accoutred for his daring exploit, he went into 
the boat, and, on reaching the reef, which ex- 
tended but a tew yards from the shore, he per- 
ceived that the natives were all armed, some 
with stones in their slings, and others with their 
spears poised, ready in a moment to defend 
their island against the expected invasion. 
Papeiha addressed them, saying, that we were 
peaceably disposed, and that he was coming on 
shore ; but unless they would tie their spears 
in bundles with their slings, he would not 
venture among them. They immediately did 
as he proposed, when this devoted man dived 
into the sea, and was born on the top of a 
billow to the shore. Encouraged by his kind 
reception, he stated to the chiefs and the as- 
sembled multitude who we were, and what was 
the object of our visit ; and also informed them 
that we had with us two teachers and their 
wives, whom it was our wish to settle among 
them. They told him that they should be glad 
to receive instruction, and requested that he 
would go to the vessel, and return with the 
teachers immediately. Papeiha accordingly 
came off, and informed us of all that had taken 
place ; stating, at the same time, that he 
thought they were an inoffensive people, and that 
no danger was to be apprehended from them. 
Some property was immediately put into the 
boat ; and two teachers, with their wives, 
attended by our veteran pioneer, went to the 

By the time of their return, the natives had 
unloosed their spears, and again presented a 
formidable appearance, but, upon being desired 
to bind them up, as they had done before, they 
did so, and our people landed. No sooner had 
the teachers reached the shore, than there was 
a general seizure of their persons and property. 
One of them had a saw, which the natives 
grasped, broke into three pieces, and tied to 
their ears as ornaments. A box of bonnets, 

intended as presents for the chiefs wives, was 
dragged through the water. Of their bedsteads, 
one took one post, another another, and ran 
off with their booty. A number of bamboos of 
cocoa-nut oil were landed, which they poured 
so profusely on each other's heads, that it 
streamed down their bodies till they glistened 
as they stood in the sunbeams. Among other 
things, there were two pigs, animals they had 
never seen before. These were taken by a 
chief, who, casting off his own garments, de- 
corated the pigs in the insignia of chieftainship, 
and sent them into the presence of their 
majesties, the gods. But what completed the 
catastrophe was their conduct to the poor females, 
the teachers' wives, whom they carried into the 
woods, and were proceeding to treat with great 
brutality, when, terrified at the report of a small 
cannon which we fired off from the vessel, they 
ran away. We immediately sent the boat, and 
brought our people off to the vessel ; and cer- 
tainly their appearance was truly deplorable. 
Their hats and bonnets had been torn from their 
heads : they had been dragged through water 
and through mud, and their shirts and gowns 
were hanging in ribands about them. Papeiha 
upbraided the chief with his perfidious conduct 
in inviting them on shore, and then suffering 
them to be ill-treated. He told him, also, that 
they, like himself and his people, were formerly 
ignorant of the true God, and the way of sal- 
vation by Jesus Christ ; but that Christians from 
England had come to instruct them, and that 
now they were desirous of imparting the know- 
ledge of the same precious truths to others. 
Tht chief wept, and assured him of his sorrow ; 
but stated, that, in his island, " all heads being 
of an equal height," his influence was not 
sufficient to protect them ; and therefore, much 
as he himself wished them to stay, he would 
rather they did not come on shore again. The 
chief, it must be allowed, did everything in his 
power to protect them, and succeeded in rescu- 
ing one of the females when in the extremity of 
peril. The husbands, being thrown and held 
down by the natives, were prevented from ren- 
dering any assistance to their wives ; and our 
valuable Missionary, Papeiha, nearly lost his 
life, for they put a tiputa* over his head, and 
commenced twisting it for the purpose of strang- 
ling him ; but happily he had the presence of 
mind to introduce his hand into the aperture, 
which preserved his throat. 

Thus our pleasing anticipations were frus- 
trated, and our poor people suffered " the loss 
of all things, 1 ' in attempting to introduce the 
Gospel into Mangaia. 

We left the island with feelings of deep regret, 
but resolved to embrace the first opportunity 
of sending two single men, who, we had every 
reason to hope, would suffer no other incon- 
venience than the loss of their property. Ac- 
cordingly a few months after our return to 
Raiatea, as the Deputation intended to touch at 

* The tiputa is, like the Spanish poncho, a piece of 
cloth about three quarters of a yard wide and three yards 
long, with a slit in the centre, through which the head is 
put, so that the garment hangs down bcfjre and behind. 


Mangaia on their way to New South "Wales, it 
was determined that some native teachers 
should accompany them. Davida and Tiere, 
two unmarried members of the church at Tahaa, 
offered their services to carry the Gospel to that 
island, and, on reaching it, these two devoted 
men, as Papeiha had done before them, leaped 
into the sea and swam to the shore, taking 
nothing with them but the light dresses which 
they wore, and a portion of the New Testament 
in the Tahitian language, which was carefully 
wrapped up and tied upon their heads. Con- 
trary to expectation, they were kindly received, 
an afflicting dispensation of Providence having 
very much subdued the violent spirit of the 
people, and prepared the way before them ; for, 
soon after our visit, a disease broke out which 
proved exceedingly fatal; the infant and the 
aged, the chieftain and the peasant, falling 
alike beneath its deadly influence. Ascribing 
this calamitous visitation to the vengeance of 
the" God of the strangers," whom they had ill- 
treated, they collected all the property which 
had been taken from us, and cast it into an 
immense cavern in one of the mountains ; 
making a vow to " the God of the strangers," 
that, " if he would suspend the execution of his 
vengeance, and conduct his worshippers again 
to their island, they would receive them kindly, 
and give them food to eat." 

Thus again we had the pleasing task of re- 
cognising the timely interposition of an all-wise 
and overruling Providence, adapting the means 
he employs to the circumstances of the people 
whose minds are to be influenced. And it 
must be allowed that the event just narrated 
was calculated to produce as powerful an im- 
pression upon the minds of such a people, as if 
they had been the eye-witnesses of a miraculous 
display of Divine power. 


Visit to Atiu Conversion of the King The power of 
Scripture Truth The Discovery of Mauke Introduc- 
tion of Christianity into it and Mitiaro Lord Byron's 
Testimony- Regard to the Sabbath-day by a Native 
Crew Go again in search of llarotonga.' 

On leaving Mangaia, we steered for Atiu. To 
this island, our brother Missionary, Mr. Ors- 
mond, had sent two teachers, some two or three 
months before our arrival. We found them in 
a most pitiable condition, having been stripped 
by the natives of every article of property, suf- 
fering exceedingly from hunger, and much 
disheartened by their want of success. We had 
not been long near the island, when we per- 
ceived a large double canoe approaching us, in 
the centre of which, on an elevated stage, was 
seated the principal chief. His person was 
tall and slender, and his aspect commanding. 
He was clothed in a white shirt, having a piece 
of Indian print girt around his loins ; Ins long 
and beautiful black hair hung gracefully over 
his shoulders, or waved in the passing breeze, 

as, with the motion of his body, he kept time 
to the rowers. We gave him a hearty welcome 
onboard. Our friend from Aitutaki was so full 
of zeal for the conversion of his brother chief- 
tain, that as soon as he reached the deck he led 
him away from us, and commenced his work by 
informing him that themaraes of Aitutaki were 
demolished, the great idols burnt, and the 
smaller ones on board the ship, to be conveyed to 
Raiatea, the island from which the teachers came 
who had instructed him. To this he added, that 
a large white house made of" tokatunu," burnt 
or roasted stone, had been erected, and dedi- 
cated to the worship of Jehovah, who was the 
only true God. " All our offerings to our false 
gods," continued this now Christian chief, his 
countenance gleaming with animation as he 
spoke, " cannot procure us pardon : but God 
has given his Son Jesus Christ to die for us, and 
through Him mercy is bestowed. I am come," 
said be, "to advise you to receive the good 
word. Our gods were one formerly, mine are 
now all abandoned, many of them destroyed ; 
let us both worship one God again, but let it be 
the true God." In confirmation of his state- 
ments, he led the astonished chieftain into the 
hold of the vessel, and exhibited to his view 
their once dreaded, and, as they imagined, 
powerful gods, which were lying there in degra- 
dation. By some circumstance, which I do not 
now recollect, this chief was induced to remain 
on board during the night, and the following 
day, being Sabbath, he attended worship. In 
the course of my address, I read and commented 
upon what is said by David and Isaiah in re- 
ference to idols. The mind of Roma-tane was 
powerfully impressed by these vivid represent- 
ations of the folly of idolatry, especially by 
the words, " with part thereof he roasteth roast, 
and is satisfied : and the residue thereof he 
maketh a god, and worshippeth. it, and praycth 
unto it, and saith, Deliver me, for thou art my 
god." Nothing could be better calculated to 
make an impression on the mind of an intelligent 
South Sea islander than these inimitable verses 
of inspired truth ; indeed, the effect is likely to 
be far greater than that produced on the mind 
of an English reader. The natives have two 
words not very much unlike, but expressive of 
opposite ideas, moa and noa, the moa meaning 
sacred, and noa the very reverse of sacred. All 
that pertains to the gods is the superlative of 
moa; and all that pertains to food, and the 
cooking of food, the superlative of noa. The 
idea now, for the first time, darted, with irre- 
sistable force into the mind of Roma-tane ; and 
he perceived at once the excessive folly of 
making a god and cooking food from one and 
the same tree ; thus uniting the two opposite 
extremes, the moa and the noa. The astonished 
chief appeared for some time lost in wonder. 
At length he retired and spent the whole of the 
night in conversation with the teachers and 
chiefs from Aitutaki about the wonderful truths 
he had heard, frequently rising up, and stamp- 
ing with astonishment that he should have been 
deluded so long, and expressing his determina- 
tion never again to worship his idol gods. 


" Eyes, it is true," said he, " they have, hut 
wood cannot see ; ears they have, but wood 
cannot hear." 

Very early the following day, the teachers 
came to us with this pleasing intelligence ; and, 
in a subsequent conversation with the chief, he 
expressed to us his full determination to demo- 
lish his maraes, to burn his idols, and to com- 
mence immediately erecting a house for the 
worship of Jehovah. We proposed that he 
should accompany us to the Society Islands ; to 
which he objected, saying, that he should not 
go under the same favourable circumstances as 
his brother chief from Aitutaki ; besides which, 
he wished at once to commence the good work, 
and expressed a desire to purchase an axe from 
us, with which to cut down trees for the posts 
of " God's house." The chief was now in 
haste to leave us ; but, having heard that there 
were two small islands in the vicinity of Atiu, 
one of which was unknown to Europeans, we 
determined to go in search of them ; and, learn- 
ing that Roma-tane was the chief, we proposed 
that he should accompany us, and use his in- 
fluence in procuring a favourable reception for 
the teachers who were repulsed from Mangaia. 
In addition t J this motive, we thought that a 
few days' further intercourse with us might 
prove beneficial to our new convert, and were 
therefore glad when he acceded to our proposal. 
The first evidence which he gave of his sincerity 
was an authoritative command that no person 
should cut and scratch their heads and faces on 
account of his absence ; which they commonly 
do, under such circumstances, with sharp stones 
and sharks' teeth. 

On our arrival at Mitiaro the king sent for 
the resident chief of the island, to whom he stated 
that the object of his visit was to exhort him 
and the people to burn the maraes, abandon 
the worship of their gods, and place themselves 
under the instruction of a teacher whom we 
were about to leave with them, and who would 
teach them the word and worship of the true 
God, Jehovah. He wished, moreover, that the 
house they were erecting for himself should be 
converted into a house of prayer, under the 
direction of the teacher. The people listened 
with astonishment, and hundred if the gods 
would not be all enraged, and strangle them. 
"jSo," replied the king, "it is out of the power of 
the wood, that we have adorned and called a god, 
to kill us." " But," said one, must we burn 
" Tarianui !" or Great Ears.* " Yes," replied 
the king, " commit him and all the evil spirits 
to the flames." He then requested them to 
behave with kindness to Taua, the teacher, and 
give attention to his instructions. Having 
asked the king if he would not come to the 
celebration of the great festival which he had 
ordered them to prepare, he replied that he 
should, but that it would be oil different busi- 
ness. " I shall come," said the chief, " to 
behold your steadfastness in this good work, 
and your kindness to the teachers you have 

* The name of a 

;od of which the king himself was the 

Having been graciously prospered to the 
utmost bounds of our expectation at Mitiaro, 
we proceeded, with grateful hearts and excited 
expectations, in search of Mauke, which we 
succeeded in finding without much difficulty, 
the chief having directed us correctly. On 
arriving at this island, the king conducted the 
teacher and his wife to the shore. Tararo, the 
chief, with a number of the people, were wait- 
ing on the beach to welcome their king. The 
first words he uttered as he leaped on shore 
were, " I am come to advise you to receive the 
word of Jehovah, the true God, and to leave 
with you a teacher and his wife, who will in- 
struct you. Let us destroy our maraes, and 
burn all the evil spirits with fire : never let us 
worship them again. They are wood, which 
we have carved and decorated, and called gods. 
Here is the true God and his word, and a 
teacher to instruct you. The true God is 
Jehovah, and the true sacrifice is his Son Jesus 
Christ." He exhorted them also to erect a 
house in which to worship the true God, and to 
be diligent in learning his good word. After 
the astonishment produced by the king's address 
had subsided a little, the natives replied, that, as 
he assured them it was a " good word and 
brought salvation," they would receive it, and 
place themselves under the instruction of the 
teacher. Roma-tane then invited the principal 
chief Tararo and his wife to attend family wor- 
ship that evening, to which they consented. 
After this they inquired of the king when they 
might expect him at the great festival which they 
were preparing for him ; and at another, called 
Takurua, at which the most obscene ceremo- 
nies were performed. He replied, " all those 
infamous customs, connected with the worship 
of their false gods, should now be abandoned; 
but that he w r ould visit them again, to behold 
their steadfastness in the good word." After 
this he exhorted the people to behave kindly to 
Haavi and bis wife, and to supply them with 
plenty of food. He then gave them a new 
house, which had been erected for himself, 
shook hands with them affectionately, and came 
On board the vessel. Were three islands ever 
converted from idolatry in so short a time ! so 
unexpectedly '. islands almost unknown, and 
two never before visited by any European 
vessel ! In, as it were, one day, they were in- 
duced to consent to the destruction of objects 
which former generations had venerated, and 
which they themselves looked upon as most 

It is a pleasing reflection, that the very first 
vessel which visited the islands of Mitiaro and 
Mauke carried to them the glad tidings of sal- 
vation. In this people the words of the 
Psalmist have a striking fulfilment : "As soon 
as they hear of me, they shall obey me ; the 
strangers shall submit themselves unto me." 
The sun had risen with his wonted splendour, 
gilding the eastern heavens with his glory ; and 
little did the inhabitants of Mauke and Mitiaro 
imagine, that before he retired beneath the 
horizon in the western sky, Ichabod would be 
written upon the idolatry of their ancestors. 



How sudden and unexpected, at times, are the 
gifts of a bountiful Providence ! How unlooked 
for, unsought, the communications of God's 
mercy ! The king of Atiu came on board of 
our vessel to gratify his curiosity, and was at 
that time a bigoted idolater, having even 
threatened to put the teachers to death; but 
was induced to embrace the truth himself to 
use his influence in overthrowing the supersti- 
tions of ages in two islands and then to return 
to his own with a full determination to do the 
same there. Could we be restrained from ex- 
claiming, " It is the Lord's doing, and it is 
marvellous in our eyesl" Our troubles at 
Mangaia were forgotten in the joy we now ex- 
perienced, and the present failure at that island 
was compensated by the abundant success 
which attended us here. 

The next vessel which visited Mauke was 
his Majesty's superb frigate, the Blonde, com- 
manded by the Hon. Captain Lord Byron, who 
had just conveyed the bodies of the deceased 
chiefs of the Sandwich Islands to their own 
country. From the published narrative of that 
voyage I present the following extract : 

Extract from the Voyage of II. M. Ship Blonde, 
Captain the Right Hon. Lord Byron, Commander. 

" On the 8th of August, to our great surprise, 
land was descried from the mast-head; and, 
as it was uncertain, from its position, whether 
it was one of the islands discovered by Captain 
Cook, we bore up for it. A boat was lowered, 
and Mr. Maiden, with a reconnoitring party, 
proceeded towards the shore, with strict injunc- 
tions, however, to be very cautious in endeavour- 
ing to ascertain the disposition of the natives, 
before he attempted to land among them. On 
our approaching the island, we attempted, by 
signs, to induce a man to swim off to the boat ; 
this he naturally enough refused to do ; but, 
from his gesticulations, we understood that 
there was no landing-place there; yet on the 
other side of the island we should find one. 

" Next morning we proceeded to the lee- 
side of the island, and, perceiving several 
canoes coming off to us, we lay-to for them. 
The first that reached us was a single man, 
whose costume soon convinced us that we were 
not the first visiters of this solitary place. He 
wore a straw hat, shaped like a common 
English hat ; and, besides his maro, or waist- 
cloth, he wore a cloak of tapa, of the same form 
with the South American poncho. While we 
were questioning our visiter, another canoe of 
very singular construction came alongside of us. 
Two persons, who, by their dress and appear- 
ance, seemed to be of some importance, now 
stepped on board, and, to our great surprise, 
produced a written document from that branch 
of the London Missionary Society settled at 
Otaheite, qualifying them to act as teachers 
in ihe island of Mauke. They were very fine- 
looking men, dressed in cotton shirts, cloth 
jackets, and a sort of petticoat of very fine mat, 
instead of trousers. 

" They were much astonished at everything 
they saw on beard the frigate, though it ap- 

peared they were not ignorant of the use of 
guns and other things ; but they evidently had 
never seen so large a vessel. The galley- fire, 
and the players on wind instruments in the 
band, seemed to surprise and delight them more 
than anything. Our bread they ate, after 
smelling it ; but it is impossible to describe 
their faces of disgust on tasting the wine. 

" As soon as their curiosity was satisfied, we 
determined to avail ourselves of their local know- 
ledge as guides, and to go on shore. We em- 
barked in two boats, taking one of the Mission- 
aries in each ; but we found the surf on the 
beach so violent that we got into the natives' 
canoes, trusting to their experience for taking 
us safely through : this they did with admirable 
dexterity; and our passage in the canoes con- 
vinced us that no boat of ours could have effected 
a landing. When we arrived, it appeared as it 
the whole male population had assembled to 
greet us ; the only two women, however, were 
the wives of the Missionaries, decently clothed 
from head to foot. Each individual of this 
numerous assembly pressed forward to shake 
hands, and seemed unhappy till this sign of 
friendship had passed : this ceremony being 
over, they conducted us towards their habita- 
tions, which were about two miles inland. Our 
path lay through a thick shady wood, on the 
skirts of which, in a small open space, two 
handsome canoes were building. They were 
each eighty feet long ; the lower part, as usual, 
of a single tree, hollowed out with great skill. 
The road was rough over the fragments of coral, 
but it wound agreeably through the grove, which 
improved in beauty as we advanced ; and at 
length, to our surprise and pleasure, terminated 
in a beautiful green lawn, where were two of 
the prettiest white-washed cottages imaginable 
the dwellings of the Missionaries. 

" The inside of their dwellings corresponded 
with their exterior neatness. The floors were 
boarded : there were a sofa and some chairs of 
native workmanship ; windows, with Venetian 
shutters, rendered the apartments cool and 
agreeable. The rooms were divided from each 
other by screens of tapa, and the floor was 
covered with coloured varnished tapa, resembling 
oil-cloth. We were exceedingly struck with 
the appearance of elegance and cleanliness of 
all around us, as well as with the modest and 
decorous behaviour of the people, especially the 

" After partaking of the refreshment offered 
us by our hostess, which consisted of a baked 
pig, bread-fruit, and yams, we accompanied the 
Missionaries to their church. It stands on 
rising ground, about four hundred yards from 
the cottages A fence composed of the trunks 
of coca-nut trees surrounds the area in which 
it stands. Its form is oval, and the roof is sup- 
ported by four pillars, which bear up the ridge. 
It is capable of containing two hundred persons. 
Two doors and twelve windows give it light 
and air ; the pulpit and reading-desk are neatly- 
carved and painted with a variety of pretty- 
designs, and the benches for the people are 
arranged nearly round. Close to the church is 



the burying-place, which is a mound of earth 
covered with green sward ; and the whole lias 
an air ot iiiodest simplicity, which delighted no 
less than surprised us." 

After giving a short account of the introduc- 
tion of Christianity among this interesting 
people, the writer proceeds : 

" Thus, in one day, and that the first in 
which a vessel from the civilised world touched 
there, the superstitions of ages were overturned, 
and the knowledge of the true God brought 
among a docile, and, generally speaking, inno- 
cent people. 

" On our return to the beach, one of the mis- 
sionaries accompanied us. As we retraced our 
steps through the wood, the warbling of the 
birds, whose plumage was as rich as it was new 
to us the various-tinted butterflies that flut- 
tered across our path the delicious climate 
the magnificent forest-trees and above all, the 
perfect union and harmony existing among the 
natives presented a succession of agreeable 
pictures which could not fail to delight us." 

I called at the island shortly after the visit of 
the Blonde. The Missionaries . and people 
spoke with gratitude und delight of the kindness 
shown to them by Lord Byron and other gentle- 
men, while they exhibited the valuable presents 
which had been received from their generous 

The work at Atiu was equally rapid. Messrs. 
Tyerman and Bennet were the next visiters to 
that island ; and the first intelligence they re- 
ceived on approaching it was, that the whole 
population had renounced their idols, and had 
built a large chapel. This great work had 
been accelerated by the arrival of a boat of 
mine, which had been sent to Tahiti, to com- 
municate the painful intelligence of the death 
of Mrs. Threlkeld, the wife of my excellent 
coadjutor. She arrived in safety at Tahiti, 
but, on her return to Raiatea, lost her way ; 
we therefore concluded that she had sunk, and 
that the crew had perished at sea. But in this 
we were happily mistaken ; for, after having 
been driven about the ocean for six weeks, 
during which time they suffered exceedingly 
from hunger and thirst, they reached Atiu. 
Here, by the attention of their brethren the 
teachers, and the hospitality of Roma-tane, 
they soon regained both flesh and strength. 
Several of them immediately united with the 
teachers in preaching the Gospel and instructing 
the people : the effect of which was, that the re- 
maining half of the population, till then un- 
converted, believed, and cast away their idols. 
" Now we know," said many, " that this reli- 
gion is true ; for these people could not have 
come here to deceive us ; they were driven by 
the waves of the ocean, and, behold, they have 
their books with them ; and the God to whom 
they prayed has preserved them." Here, again, 
we have another striking indication of an over- 
ruling Providence, and are shown how dis- 
tressing events are often made subservient to 
God's designs of mercy : " His ways are past 
finding out." The crew in this boat would, in 

all probability, have perished, had it not been 
j for a little pot of rice, which a friend had sent to 
Mrs. "Williams. They had exhausted all their 
food, and long before had drunk every drop 
of water ; when they divided out the rice, 
and ate it, a grain at a time, moistening their 
mouths, by dipping the fibrous husk of the 
cocoa-nut in oil, and thoroughly masticating it. 
They spent their time in reading the Scriptures, 
singing hymns, and praying to God to preserve 
them from perishing by famine, or being drowned 
in the ocean. So great was the regard they 
paid to the Sabbath that the individual who 
had charge of the boat informed me, that on 
one occasion a large fish continued near them 
for a considerable time, which they could 
easily have caught ; but, although nearly 
famished they held a consultation whether it 
was right for them to take it, and determined 
" that they would not catch fish on a Sabbath- 
day." God graciously heard their prayers ; 
conducted them to Atiu ; rendered them useful 
there, and afterwards restored them to their 
relatives and friends. I mention this circum- 
stance to show the tenderness of their con- 
sciences, and not as approving of the ignorance 
in which it originated. Had they known the 
meaning of the Saviour's words, " I will have 
mercy, and not sacrifice," they would of course 
have taken the fish. 

A variety of interesting little incidents oc- 
curred at Mauke and Mitiaro, where the 
natives had never before seen Europeans, or 
European animals. The simple-hearted inha- 
bitants were much astonished at our appearance, 
took hold of our hands, smelt us, turned up our 
sleeves, examined us most minutely, and, being 
delighted with the whiteness of our skin, con- 
cluded that we must be very great chiefs. 

When the boat was put into the sea, they 
involuntarily shouted, " It will upset ! it will 
upset! it has no outriggger '." On seeing the 
goats, they called to their companions to come 
and look at the wonderful " birds with great 
teeth upon their heads." These innocent ex- 
pressions of ignorant astonishment, with others 
too numerous to mention, show the impression 
made upon a barbarous people by their first 
intercourse with civilised man. Our fish-hooks 
they looked upon with ineffable contempt ; 
and, placing them beside the thick hooks made 
from cocoa-nut shells, pearl-shells, and wood, 
exclaimed, " If the fish break these that are 
so thick and strong, alas ! for such slender 
things 1" 

"We had still one more island to seek ; and, 
finding Roma-tane exceedingly intelligent, we 
inquired of him if he had ever heard of Raro- 
tonga. " Oh, yes," he replied ; " it is only a 
day and a night's sail from Atiu ; we know the 
way there." This information delighted us ; 
but, when we inquired the position in which it 
lay, he at one time pointed in one direction, 
and at another in quite the opposite. But this 
was soon explained ; for the natives, in making 
their voyages, do not leave from any part of an 
island, as we do, but, invariably, have what 
may be called starting-points. At these places 



they have certain land-marks, by which they 
steer, until the stars become visible ; and they 
generally contrive to set sail so as to get sight 
of their heavenly guides by the time their land- 
marks disappear. Knowing this, we determined 
to adopt the native plan, and took our vessel 
round to the " starting-point." Having arrived 
there, the chief was desired to look to the 
land-marks, while the vessel was being turned 
gradually round, and when these ranged with 
each other he cried out, " That's it! that is it!" 
I looked immediately at the compass, and found 
the course to be S.W. by W. ; and it proved to 
be as correct as if he had been an accomplished 
navigator. I mention this circumstance, be- 
cause I think it of universal importance to all 
persons, in every scientific or other expedition, 
who seeks information from natives, to allow 
them to communicate it in their own way. I 
was struck a few days ago, in reading the 
address of R. King, Esq., the surgeon of the 
Northern Expedition, with the statement 
" That the expedition had failed to derive 
advantage from the information of the natives, 
by perplexing them with questions, and pre- 
senting doubts, instead of allowing them, with 
charcoal, to draw a rough chart upon a piece of 
board," &c. So it was with us ; and, had we 
not adopted the method we did, in all proba- 
bility Rarotonga would have been unblessed 
with the knowledge of salvation to the present 

When we had accomplished all we could at 
Atiu, a large double canoe came off for our 
interesting guest, to whom we presented an 
axe or two, " to cut down trees for posts for 
the house of God," with some other useful 
articles. He then took an affectionate farewell 
of us, seated himself upon his elevated stage, 
beat time to the rowers, and hastened on shore 
to carry the important purposes of his mind 
into execution ; not, as he came on board, a 
bigoted idolater, but a convert to the truth. 


Rarotonga discovered Pleasing and distressing Inci- 
dents there Papeiha's devoted Conduct Conversation 
between a Native Sailor and the King Kemarkable 
Incident of a Heathen Woman Return Home Exhi- 
bition of the Idols Native Speeches, Sec. 

After leaving Atiu, we were baffled and per- 
plexed for several days by contrary winds. 
Our provisions were nearly expended, and our 
patience all but exhausted, when, early in the 
morning of the day on which we discovered the 
island, the captain came to me, and said, " We 
must, Sir, give up the search, or we shall all be 
starved." I replied, that we would continue 
our course till eight o'clock, and, if we did not 
succeed by that time, we would return home. 
This was an hour of great anxiety ; hope and 
fear alternately agitated my mind. I had sent 
a native to the top of the mast four times, and 

he was now ascending for the fifth ; and when 
we were within half an hour of relinquishing 
the object of our search, the clouds which 
enveloped its towering heights having been 
chased away by the heat of the ascending sun, 
he relieved us from our anxiety by shouting 
" Teie teie. tauafenua, nei!" Here, here is the 
land we have been seeking ! The transition of 
feeling was so instantaneous and so great, that, 
although a number of years have intervened, I 
have not forgotten the sensations which that 
announcement occasioned. The brightened 
countenances, the joyous expressions, and the 
lively congratulations of all on board, showed 
that they shared in the same emotions ; nor 
die we fail to raise our voices in grateful 
acknowledgement to Him who had graciously 
" led us by a right way." 

It would be pleasant to linger here, and to 
describe the varied feelings we experienced, as 
the lovely island unveiled its beauties to our 
view. The high mountains, the rocky emi- 
nences, and the luxuriant valleys, called forth 
our admiration ; the recollection of the degraded 
state of the inhabitants extorted the tear of 
sympathy ; while the doubtful nature of our re- 
ception awakened intense solicitude. We 
"wondered and held our peace, to wit, whether, 
the Lord would make our journey prosperous 
or not." 

On reaching the island, the canoe we pur- 
chased at Aitutaki was sent on shore, with one 
of the natives of Rarotonga, Vahineino, and 
Papeiha. Meeting with a most favourable re- 
ception, a consultation was immediately held 
with an immense assemblage of the natives, 
under the shade of a grove of Temanu trees ; 
when the teachers stated the object of our 
voyage, informed the people of the renunciation 
of idolatry at the various islands we had visited, 
and added, that we had brought their own 
people from Aitutaki, with Christian teachers, 
whom it was our wish to leave at their island, 
to instruct them in the knowledge of the true 
God, and the way of salvation, by his Son 
Jesus Christ. All appeared delighted, and the 
king determined to come on board and conduct 
them to the shore. 

We gave him a most cordial welcome, and 
introduced to him his people ; among whom 
was his own cousin. He was particularly 
delighted to see her; they rubbed noses most 
cordially, and fell on each other's neck and 
wept. After much interesting intercourse, it 
was arranged that the teachers, with their 
wives, the natives of Rarotonga, and Papeiha, 
should accompany the king on shore. They 
did so; and we stood off for the night, rejoicing 
and praising God for all the delightful and im- 
portant events of the day. 

The king, whose name is Makea, is a hand- 
some man in the prime of life, about six feet 
high, and very stout ; of noble appearance, and 
of a truly commanding aspect. His complexion 
is light ; and, at the time of which I write, his 
body was most beautifully tatooed, and slightly 
coloured with a preparation of turmeric and 
ginger, which gave it a light orange tinge, and, 


in the estimation of the Rarotongans, added 
much to the beauty of his appearance. 

Early on the following morning the teachers, 
with their wives, came oif to the vessel ; and, to 
our surprise and deep regret, gave us an account 
of the terrible treatment the females had ex- 
perienced during the greater part of the night, 
who exhibited their tattered garments in confir- 
mation of their tale of woe. It appears that a 
powerful chief, who had conquered the principal 
part of the island, had come with a large 
retinue, for the purpose of taking one of the 
female teachers as his wife. He had already 
nineteen, and the teacher was to have been the 
twentieth, and the chief of the seraglio. 
Tapairu, the cousin of Makea, who was a 
person of influence, and a woman of great 
intrepidity, argued, wept, and even fought for 
the preservation of those from whom she had 
received so much kindness ; and to her alone, 
under God, may we attribute the deliverance 
on that trying occasion. All the chiefs were 
anxious that the teachers should remain, affirm- 
ing that it would be very good for the men to 
teach them the word of God, and for the chiefs 
to have their wives. 

These statements will give the reader some 
idea of the licentiousness of heathenism, as it 
exists before one ray of Christian light has 
beamed upon its darkness. It so outrages all 
decency, that the heart is hurried away in 
horror and disgust from the contemplation of 
the deep moral degradation into which our race 
is sunk. 

Discouraged by the reception we had met 
with, we were about, for a time, to abandon 
this inviting field of labour, when our excellent 
friend Papeiha, instead of uniting with us in 
useless regrets, offered to remain alone at Ra- 
rotonga, provided we would send a coadjutor, 
whom he named, from Raiatea. We rejoiced 
in the proposition ; and, leaving his property in 
the vessel, after taking an affectionate farewell 
of us, this truly devoted man got into a canoe 
and went on shore, carrying nothing with him 
but the clothes he v\ ore, his native Testament, 
and a bundle of elementary books. The two 
men and four women natives of Rarotonga, 
whom we had brought from Aitutaki, had all 
embraced Christianity some time before, and 
promised steadfastly to maintain their profession 
among their heathen countrymen. Thus Papeiha 
was not left desolate, but surrounded by a little 
company who were ardently attached to him, 
and who were indebted to his instructions for 
all they knew of the religion of the Gospel. 
We left* him with a prayer that his little flock 
might become the germ of a Christian church 
in Rarotonga, and that by their instrumentality 
the incorruptible seed of the Word might be 
scattered throughout its numerous population. 
Nor were we disappointed ; for, by the time 
Tiberio, Papeiha's colleague, arrived, which was 
about four months after our departure, he and 
his little band had received many additions to 
their number. And when our esteemed friends, 
Messrs. TyermanandBennet, visited the island, 
which was' but little more than a year alter its 

discovery, the whole population had renounced 
idolatry, and were engaged in erecting a place 
of worship, six hundred feet in length ! 

To this speedy and delightful result of our 
labours, the various conversations which our 
people had held with the natives may, in a 
great measure, have contributed. Our native 
sailor, Faaori, who was the bearer of the mes- 
sage from Aitutaki, was busily employed during 
the whole of our stay in hearing and answering 
their questions. One inquired of him where 
Taimoana, the great drum, was, which the two 
priests, Paoauri and Paoatea, took to Raiatea '? 
Another demanded, "Why did you Raiateans 
kill those men, whose death induced the gods 
to remove our island to its present situation'?"* 
The king was anxious to know where great 
Tangaroa was. Faaori replied " He is burned, 
and we shall never worship him again." He 
then asked if many of the people were not 
strangled by the gods in anger ; and was assured 
that not a single individual was hurt. The 
king then inquired who burned the gods, the 
Cookees, f or Tamatoa and his peopled Faaori 
told him that the Cookees had taught them the 
folly of idolatry, and had given them instruction 
in the word and worship of Jehovah, the true 
God, and that they themselves destroyed the 
maraes and burned the gods. The king in- 
quired of Faaori who was the first man, 
according to the Cookees' account % He re- 
plied, Adam. The people affirmed that it was 
Tiki. Faaori then asked them who was the 
first woman ? they answered, Tiki's wife. 
He inquired of them where she had come from I 
To this question they could give no answer. 
He then told them the first woman's name was 
Eve, and that she was a rib taken out of the 
first man that Jehovah made. They inquired 
how that was possible 1 ? He informed them 
that God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the 
first man, and took out a rib, of which he made 
the first woman. This was all new to them, 
and they listened with intense interest to his 
statements many exclaiming, " Perhaps this is 
truth." They then asked whether the bodies 
of those who embraced this Word would die i 
Faaori told them that the body would die, but 
that the soul was described in the word of God 
as of the greatest value, and that the souls of all 
who believed in Jesus Christ would live for- 
ever. Having inquired how the Raiateans 
acted in war, he informed them that, while in 
the service of Satan, they were exceedingly 
cruel to each other; that women were barbar- 
ously treated, and that children had skewers 
run through their ears, and were strung 
together ; but that now they had ceased to 
fight, and, instead of being pierced with spears, 
or beat to death with the clubs of the warriors, 

* This evidently shows that the Rarotongans have the 
same traditions as the Raiateans; and, by the variety of 
information they possessed relative to the Society Islands 
generally, but most especially Kalatea, that being the 
grand emporium of ido.atry, it is certain that at some 
lormei lieriod more frequent communication must ha\e 
existed between the islanders. 

t A name given by the natives to all English people. 
from their having heard of Captain Cook. 



they died in peace in their own habitations, 
surrounded by their friends. 

" And," continued this useful man, " out of 
pure compassion, we have come to bring these 
blessings to you, before you entirely destroy 
each other by your wars, and the worship of 
your infamous gods." The natives then asked 
Faaori what the " tuetue " was 1 As he did not 
comprehend this, they knelt down, shut their 
eyes, and began to mutter ; when he understood 
their meaning, and informed them that it was 
prayer, and that, while they were ill-treating 
the teachers, they were praying to God Jehovah 
to change their hearts, and incline them to 
receive the word of salvation. 

But perhaps the following most remarkable 
circumstance may have contributed in no small 
degree to induce the people thus speedily to 
embrace the truth : A heathen woman had, by 
some means or other, been conveyed from the 
island of Tahiti to Rarotonga, and on her arrival 
6he informed the Rarotongans of all the wonders 
she had seen ; stating that they were not the 
only people in the world ; that there were others 
entirely white, whom they called Cookees ; that 
Captain Cook had been to her island ; and that, 
subsequently to his visit, the servants of Jehovah, 
and Jesus Christ, the white man's God, had 
come and were still residing there ; that at her 
island they had ceased to use stone axes for 
hewing their trees, for those servants of Jehovah, 
and others, had brought sharp things which they 
called opahi, with which they could cut them 
down with the greatest facility ; that they had 
also ceased to use human bones as tools for 
making canoes and building houses, for the 
same people had brought them sharp hard things, 
with which they could effect their work with far 
greater ease ; that their children did not now 
cry and scream while they had their hair cut, 
as they formerly did, when it was performed 
with sharks' teeth, for the Cookees had brought 
them bright things, which were so sharp that 
the operation afforded pleasure rather than 
pain ; and that they had no need now to go 
down to the water to look at themselves, because 
these wonderful people had brought them small 
shining things, which they could carry about 
with them, and in which they could see them- 
selves as plainly as they could see each other. 
These, with a variety of other "mea tu ke," or 
very strange things, which this heathen female 
told the astonished inhabitants of this secluded 
garden of the ocean, excited so much interest, 
that the king, Makea, called one of his children 
" Tehovah," (Jehovah,) and another " Teetee- 
try" (Jesus Christ). An uncle of the king, who 
we hope at this time is a truly good man, erected 
an altar to Jehovah and Jesus Christ, to which 
persons afflicted with all manner of diseases were 
brought to be healed ; and so great was the 
reputation which this marae obtained, that the 
power of Jehovah and Jesus Christ became great 
in the estimation of the people. 

With grateful hearts we now turned our faces 
homewards ; where, after eight or ten days' sail, 
we arrived in safety. And, as other warriors 
feel a pride in displaying the trophies of their 

victories, we hung the rejected idols of Aitutaki 
to the yard-arms and other parts of the vessel, 
entered the harbour in triumph, sailed down to 
the settlement, and dropped anchor amidst the 
shouts and congratulations of our people. 

On the following Friday evening the idols 
were suspended about the chapel, the chan- 
deliers of which were lighted up as before. 
Service was commenced by singing, in the native 
language, the Jubilee Hymn, " Faaoto 'tu," 
" Blow ye the trumpet, blow," &c. Having 
given a brief outline of the voyage, the chiefs 
from Aitutaki were introduced to the assembly ; 
when several addresses were delivered by the 
natives, of which the two following are speci- 
mens : 

"This, dear friends," said Tuahine, "is not 
the first day of my joy. These varua ino were 
seen through the telescope, while hanging to th 
yard-arms of the vessel, as she entered the harbour. 
Behold ! we now see them hanging here. There 
are some things we term the poison of the sea ; 
these idols hanging here were the poison of the 
land, for both body and soul were poisoned by 
them. But let us rejoice, their reign is over. 
We did not think that they would have been 
obtained so soon." 

Addressing himself to the regardless and un- 
converted portion of the assembly, he said : 

" Behold ! these are still your gods, although 
you do not acknowledge them ;" and then he 
exhorted them, earnestly and affectionately, to 
turn to Jesus, by whose power alone these idols 
were conquered. " And how," added he, " can 
you resist his power 1 The gods of wood are 
i'ood for the fire, but the God without form is 
beyond your strength : his head cannot he 
reached! These gods are conquered; but the 
invisible God will remain for ever. The idols 
now hanging in degradation before us were for- 
merly unconquerable ; but the power of God is 
gone forth, by which men become Christians, 
and savages brethren in Christ." 

A second arose and said : 

" We have been praying that God would 
exert his power, and cause his word to grow, 
that his good kingdom might come ; and now, 
behold every man, with his own eyes, may see 
the effects of that power. These idols have not 
been obtained by spears clotted with human 
blood, as formerly; no guns, no clubs, no other 
weapon but the powerful Gospel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. Formerly all was theirs, pigs, 
fish, men, women, and children ; and now, behold 
them suspended in contempt before us ! This 
is not the commencement of our joy. We saw 
the idols hanging about the vessel, and gladness 
sprang in our hearts. They called our ship the 
ship of God, and truly it was so, for it carried 
the Gospel to distant lands, and brought back 
the trophies of its victory. Does praise grow 
in every heart 1 ? Is joy felt by all % Then let 
us not only rejoice that devils are subject to 
us, but also that our names are written in the 
book of life.'" 

I obtained from the chief of Aitutaki a short 
account of the relics of idolatry. Twenty-five 
of these I numbered, and transmitted, with their 




names and history, to the deputation then at 
Tahiti; six others were sent to England, and 
many of them are now in the Missionary M u- 
seum. The following selection may give the 
reader a general idea of the whole : 

No. 2. An idol named Te-rongo, one of the 
great deities, called a kaitangata, or man-eater. 
The priests of this idol were supposed to be in- 
spired by the shark. 

No. 8. Tangaroa ; the great national god of 
Aitutaki, and of almost all the adjacent islands. 
He holds the net with which he catches the 
spirits of men as they fly from their bodies, and 
a spear with which he kills them. 

No. 15. A rod, with snares at the end, made 
of the fibres of the cocoa-nut husk, with which 
the priest caught the spirit of the god. It was 
used in cases of pregnancy, when the female 
was ambitious that her child should be a son, 
and become a famous warrior. It was also em- 
ployed in war-time to catch the god by his leg, 
to secure his influence on the side of the party 
performing the ceremony. (See page 55, No. 2.) 
No. 18. Ruanuu; a chief from Raiatea, who, 
ages ago, sailed in a canoe from that island, and 
settled at Aitutaki. From him a genealogy is 
traced. He died at Aitutaki, and was deified, as 
Te atua taitai tere, or the conduct or of fleets. The 
Raiateans have several interesting traditions 
connected with Ruanuu. To this idol was 
appended an old tattered silk handkerchief, and 
the foot of a wine glass ; both of which were 
obtained from Captain Cook's vessel, and dedi- 
cated to Ruanuu, " the god or guide of fleets," 
for conducting that celebrated navigator to their 

No. 25. Taau, with his fan, &c. ; the god of 
thunder. When the thunder peals, the natives 
said that this god was flying, and produced this 
sound by the flapping of his wings. 

AVhile procuring from the chief the descrip- 
tions above given, he begged of me to allow 
the idols to be burned in cooking food, and not 
sent to England, as they would expose his folly. 
Pomare, it will be recollected, wished his to be 
sent, in order "that English people might see 
what foolish gods Tahiti worshipped." 


Mr. Bourne's Voyage Accompanied by Mr. ami Mrs. 
Pitman, with Mrs. Williams and Family, the Author 
sails tor Rarotonga Dangers experienced in landing 
Idols delivered up Chapel erected Writing on a Chip ; 
the Wonder it excited Mr. Pitman's narrow Escape 
Books prepared in the Language A Sabbath at Raro- 

The Hervey group was next visited by my es- 
teemed colleague, Mr. Bourne, who was much 
delighted with the great progress that had been 
made at all the islands. He opened several 
places of worship, and baptized a great number 
of the natives. 

Our friend, the chief of Atiu. had performed 
all that he had promised ; and, having completed 
the chapel, he was employed in erecting for 

himself a plastered house, seventy-three feet in 
length, and thirty in breadth. Just before Mr. 
Bourne's arrival, the captain of an English 
whaler which had been at the island, left the 
following written testimony to the kind attention 
he had received from the inhabitants : 

" I visited this island for the purpose of ob- 
taining refreshments ; and, although in some 
measure prepared to expect civility, their exces- 
sive kindness exceeded my utmost expectations. 
They appear a mild and inoffensive people, and 
have no warlike instruments among them. We 
remained here on Sunday, and never, in any 
country, saw such attention paid to the Sabbath." 

In reference to Aitutaki, Mr. Bourne says: 

" They have built a coral pier, six hundred 
feet in length, and eighteen feet in breadth. 
The number of plastered houses in the settle- 
ment is one hundred and forty-four, in many of 
which are bedsteads and sofas. The female 
teachers have taught the women to make good 
bonnets. They are diligent in learning, and 
numbers can read. Family and private prayer 
is very general. Everything has remained quiet 
since our last visit ; neither war nor rumour of 
war has been seen or heard, although formerly 
it was their greatest delight, and the bodies of 
their slain enemies formed the horrible repast 
at the conclusion of every engagement." 

Respecting Rarotonga, after having given an 
account of the large congregations to which he 
preached, the numbers he baptized, and the 
general progress which had been made, Mr. 
Bourne observes : 

" Much has been said in Europe concerning 
the success of the Gospel in Tahiti and the 
Society Islands, but it is not to be compared 
with its progress in Rarotonga. In Tahiti, 
European Missionaries laboured for fifteen long 
years before the least fruit appeared. But two 
years ago Rarotonga was hardly known to exist, 
was not marked in any of the charts, and we 
spent much time in traversing the ocean in 
search of it. Two years ago the Rarotongans 
did not know that there was such good news as 
the Gospel. And now I scruple not to say, that 
their attention to the means of grace, their 
regard to family and private prayer, equals 
whatever has been witnessed at Tahiti and the 
neighbouring islands. And, when we look at 
the means, it becomes more astonishing. Two 
native teachers, not particularly distinguished 
among their own countrymen for intelligence, 
have been the instruments of effecting this 
wonderful change, and that before a single Mis- 
sionary had set his foot upon the island. I 
could not help earnestly desiring the presence 
of my brother Williams, that, as we shared in 
the disappointments experienced in our last 
voyage, we might share the joy which the change 
that has since taken place is calculated to pro- 

By a vessel that touched there some short 
time after, I received letters from Papeiha and 
his colleague, stating that they enjoyed unin- 
terrupted prosperity, and expressing a wish that 
I would come and spend a few months with 
them, as the work was "so heavy that they 


could not carry it." I therefore determined to 
embrace the first opportunity of doing so. 

Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, who were at New 
South Wales, on their way to the islands, when 
the Deputation arrived there, resolved, upon 
the advice and representations of those gentle- 
men, to settle at Rarotonga. With this inten- 
tion, on their arrival at the Society Islands, they 
came to reside with us at Raiatea, to obtain a 
knowledge of the language, and wait until x a 
companion should arrive from England ; the 
delicate health both of Mr. and Mrs. Pitman 
rendering it unadvisible that they should proceed 
there alone. On being made acquainted with 
our determination to revisit Rarotonga, they 
gladly embraced the opportunity of accompany- 
ing us. After a tedious passage, we landed, on 
Sabbath, the 6th of May, 1827, amidst the 
greatest concourse of people I had seen since 
we left England. In doing so we were exposed 
to very considerable danger, for there being no 
proper harbour, we were obliged to get into the 
boat at a distance of three miles from the shore. 
The wind was very boisterous, the sea exceed- 
ingly rough, and our boat so old and leaky, that 
Mrs. Williams was obliged to sit in the bottom, 
baling out the water. We landed, however, in 
safety amidst the congratulations of the multi- 
tude, who had just left the chapel after morning 
service, and who, compared with what they 
were when I first visited them, " were clothed, 
and in their right mind." All the females wore 
bonnets, and were dressed in white cloth, whilst 
the men wore clothes and hats of native manu- 
facture. The change thus presented was pecu- 
liarly gratifying. 

On the following days our communication 
with the ship was as dangerous as when we 
landed ; and on the third morning we received 
a letter from the captain, stating, that his vessel 
had sustained so much injury, that he could 
remain no longer. Mr. Pitman and myself 
immediately went on board, got our clothes and 
a few other things into the boat, wrote a hasty 
note or two, and left the vessel. We were, 
however, much appalled at our situation ; for 
we had but two oars ; the boat was very deeply 
laden ; the sea was running high ; it blew a 
gale of wind : and we were six or seven miles 
from the shore. Providentially, a large double 
canoe, that had been to fetch some natives from 
the ship, came to our assistance ; and, after 
several hours' hard labour, we happily reached 
the land. The clothes, flour, and sugar which 
we obtained, recompensed us for our fatigue, 
though we were obliged to leave much of our 
property in the vessel. 

I did not intend to have remained more than 
three or four months at Rarotonga ; but, no 
opportunity being afforded of leaving the island, 
we continued there a year : and, although pecu- 
liarly distressing at the time, we can now clearly 
see how wisely and graciously it was ordered ; 
for this year, like the preceding, was fraught 
with events of great importance, in connexion 
with my subsequent movements for extending 
the blessings of the Gospel in numerous other 
islands of the Pacific. . 

We found the teachers and people just about 
to abandon the old settlement, anew one having 
been formed on the eastern side of the island. 
As the Thursday after our arrival was the day 
appointed for the removal, we determined not 
to interfere with this or any other arrangement, 
until, by a more accurate acquaintance with 
the affairs of the station, we should be enabled 
to take the management of the mission 
into our own hands. On Wednesday after- 
noon we attended service, when one of the 
teachers addressed the assembly; after which, 
the multitude gave us a welcome by a hearty 
shake of the hand. As there were be- 
tween two and three thousand of them, and 
they considering that the sincerity of their 
affection was to be expressed by the severity of 
the squeeze, and the violence of the shake, we 
were not sorry when the ceremony was over, 
for our arms ached severely for hours after. 
Early the following morning, with nearly the 
whole of the inhabitants of the island, we pro- 
ceeded to the new station, to which we found 
but little difficulty in getting our things con- 
veyed, as every person was desirous of carrying 
some part of our property. One took the tea- 
keetle, another the frying-pan ; some obtained 
a box, others a bed-post ; even the chief himself 
felt honoured in rendering assistance, and 
during the journey he ceased not to manifest 
his admiration of the devices printed upon the 
articles of earthenware with which he was in- 
trusted, and to exhibit them to the crowd that 
surrounded him. 

A heavy fall of rain had rendered the ordinary 
road unfit for travelling, or otherwise the walk 
would have been delightful ; but, as the kind 
people conveyed goods, wives, and children, 
upon their Herculean shoulders, all delighted 
with their occupation, the journey was by no 
means unpleasant. 

On our arrival, we found that the teachers 
had very comfortable houses, one of which they 
most cheerfully gave up to us. A day or two 
afterwards, they requested us to take our seat 
outside the door ; and, on doing so, we observed 
a large concourse of people coming towards us, 
bearing heavy burdens. They walked in pro- 
cession, and dropped at our feet fourteen 
immense idols, the smallest of which was about 
five yards in length. Each of these was com- 
posed of a piece of aito, or iron wood, about 
four inches in diameter, carved with rude imi- 
tations of the human head at one end, and with 
an obscene figure at the other, wrapped round 
with native cloth, until it became two or three 
yards in circumference. Near the wood were 
red feathers, and a string of small pieces of 
polished pearl shells, which were said to be the 
manava, or soul of the god. Some of these 
idols were torn to pieces before our eyes: others 
were reserved to decorate the rafters ot the 
chapel we proposed to erect; and one was 
kept to be sent to England, which is now in 
the Missionary Museum. It is not, however, 
so respectable in appearance as when in its own 
country; for his Britannic Majesty's officers, 
fearing lest the god should be made a vehicle 




for defrauding the king, very unceremoniously 
took it to pieces ; and, not being so well skilled 
in making gods as in protecting the revenue, 
they have not made it so handsome as when it 
was an object of veneration to the deluded 
Rarotongans. An idol, of which the annexed 
figure is a correct representation, was placed on 
the fore-part of every fishing canoe ; and when 
the natives were going on a fishing excursion, 
prior to setting off, they invariably presented 

One of the national idols. 

offerings to the god, and invoked him to grant 
them success. Surely professing Christians 
may learn a lesson from this practice. Here 
we see pagans of the lowest order imploring the 
blessing of their gods upon their ordinary 
occupations. Christians, go and do likewise ! 

On the following Sabbath, a congregation of 
about four thousand assembled ; but, as the 
house was a temporary building, and would not 
accommodate half the people, they took their 

Soul of the idol. 

The fisherman's god. 



seats outside. This induced us to determine 
to erect immediately a place of worship. "With 
this view the chiefs and people were convened, 
and arrangements made for commencing the 
building ; and so great was the diligence with 
which the people laboured, that, although ill 
supplied with tools, the house was thoroughly 
completed in two months. It was one hundred 
and fifty feet in length, and sixty wide ; well 
plastered, and fitted up throughout with seats. 
It had six large folding-doors. The front 
windows were made in imitation of sashes, 
whilst those in the back resembled Venetian 
blinds. It was a large, respectable, and sub- 
stantial edifice ; and the whole was completed 
without a single nail, or any iron-work what- 
ever. It will accommodate nearly three thou- 
sand persons. 

In the erection of this chapel, a circumstance 
occurred which will give a striking idea of the 
feelings of an untaught people, when observing, 
for the first time, the effects of written commu- 
nications. As I had come to the work one 
morning without my square, I took up a chip, 
and with a piece of charcoal wrote upon it a 
request that Mrs. "Williams would send me that 
article. I called a chief, who was superintend- 
ing his portion of the work, and said to him, 
" Friend, take this ; go to our house, and give 
it to Mrs. "Williams." He was a singular-look- 
ing man, remarkably quick in his movements, 
and had been a great warrior ; but, in one of 
the numerous battles he had fought, had lost an 
eye. Giving me an inexpressible look with the 
other, he said, "Take that! she will call me a 
fool and scold me, if I carry a chip to her." 
" No," I replied, " she will not ; take it, and 
go immediately ; I am in haste." Perceiving 
me to be in earnest, he took it, and asked, 
""What must I sayl" I replied, "You have 
nothing to say ; the chip will say all I wish. " 
With a look of astonishment and contempt, he 
held up the piece of wood and said, " How can 
this speak % has this a mouth V I desired him 
to take it immediately, and not spend so much 
time in talking about it. On arriving at the 
house, he. gave the chip to Mrs. "Williams, who 
read it, threw it away, and went to the tool- 
chest ; whither the chief, resolving to see the 
result of this mysterious proceeding, followed 
her closely. On receiving the square from her, 
he said, " Stay, daughter, how do you know 
that this is what Mr. Williams wants'?" " Why," 
she replied, " did you not bring me a chip just 
now V " Yes," said the astonished warrior, 
" but I did not hear it say anything." " If you 
did not, I did" was the reply, "for it made 
known to me what he wanted, and all you have 
to do is to return with it as quickly as possible." 
With this the chief leaped out of the house ; 
and, catching up the mysterious piece of wood, 
he ran through the settlement with the chip in 
one hand, and the square in the other, holding 
them up as high as his arms would reach, and 
shouting as he went, " See the wisdom of these 
English people ; they can make chips talk! they 
can make chips talk !" On giving me the 
square, he wished to know how it was possible 

thus to converse with persons at a distance. I 
gave him all the explanation in my power ; but 
it was a circumstance involved in so much 
mystery, that he actually tied a string to the 
chip, hung it round his neck, and wore it for 
some time. During several following days, we 
frequently saw him surrounded by a crowd, 
who were listening with intense interest while 
he narrated the wonders which this chip had 

The life and labours of my esteemed and 
excellent colleague had nearly terminated, 
while erecting the chapel in which he has since 
so long and so successfully preached the Gospel. 
He and myself had gone, as usual, to mark out 
and superintend the work, when one of the chiefs 
requested Mr. Pitman to go and instruct him 
how to fasten a window-sill ; and, while doing 
so, a man on the thatch, unobserved by him, 
was dragging up a heavy piece of wood, which 
slipped, and, falling on Mr. Pitman's head, 
levelled him to the ground. He was taken up 
senseless, and conveyed home. I examined the 
bruise, and was truly grateful to find that no 
bone was broken, no material injury sustained ; 
for, providentially, the heavy end of the log 
reached the ground before Mr. Pitman was 
struck, otherwise his work on earth would have 
been finished. In mentioning this event to his 
friends, this devoted servant of Christ says, 
" Thus it hath pleased the Lord to spare me a 
little longer in his vineyard. O that my life 
may be more than ever devoted to his service !" 

The first three months which we spent with 
Mr. Pitman were devoted to the instruction of 
the people, and in obtaining a more correct 
knowledge of the peculiarities of their language, 
with such other information as was necessary 
to regulate our future proceedings for the 
welfare of the mission. The people were ex- 
ceedingly kind to us, and diligent in their 
attendance at the schools and on all the means 
of grace. They made, however, but very little 
progress in reading ; and we considered them 
dull scholars, compared with their sprightly 
brethren in the Society Islands. Indeed, it 
was to us a matter of astonishment that not a 
single person in the island could read, although 
the teachers assured us they had been unremit- 
ting in their endeavours to instruct them. It is 
true they were teaching them in Tahitian, as it 
was our wish to extend the vise of that dialect 
as far as possible ; but not succeeding, we de- 
termined immediately on preparing some books 
in their own language ; and with this view I 
drew up an elementary work, and translated 
the gospel of John and the epistle to the 
Galatians, which were printed a few months 
after ; and, from the moment the people received 
books in their own dialect, their progress has 
been so rapid, that, at the present time, there is 
a greater number of persons who can read at 
Rarotonga than at any other of our stations ; 
and I may here add, that I think it a circum- 
stance of very rare occurrence that a religious 
impression is produced upon the minds of a 
people, except by addressing them in their 
mother tongue. 





From the knowledge we had ohtained of the 
population, the distances of the districts from 
each other, the difficulty of procuring food, the 
political divisions of the island, together with 
the relative influence of the different chiefs, we 
were convinced of the necessity of having two, 
and perhaps, ultimately, three distinct stations ; 
and, as we expected to remain at Rarotonga but 
two or three months longer, it was arranged 
that we, with the inhabitants of two districts, 
should return to the former settlement, whilst 
Mr. Pitman took charge of the new one, which, 
although but one division of the island, was 
nearly as populous as the others united. As 
the settlement to which I was returning bad 
been abandoned for some months, great exer- 
tion was requisite to restore it to order. The 
large chapel was much dilapidated. This, from 
the circumstances of its erection, was rather an 
interesting building, but it was destitute of 
elegance ; for, although plastered and floored, 
and looking exceedingly well at a distance, the 
workmanship was rough, and the doors were 
formed of planks lashed together with cinet, 
which also supplied the place of hinges. One of 
its most striking peculiarities was the presence 
of many indelicate heathen figures carved on 
the centre posts. This was accounted for from 
the circumstance, that, when built, a consider- 
able part of the people were heathens ; and, as 
a portion of the work was allotted to each 
district, unaccompanied by specific directions 
as to the precise manner of its performance, the 
builders thought that the figures with which 
they decorated the maraes would be equally 
ornamental in the main pillars of a Christian 
sanctuary. The building was 250 feet in length, 
and 40 feet wide. 

Having put the settlement in order, and had 
the chapel repaired, we devoted our energies to 
the instruction of the people. Their attendance 
on the means of grace, and the anxiety they 
evinced to understand the truths of the Gospel, 
were truly encouraging. At the conclusion of 
every service, both on Sabbath and other even- 
ings, a great number followed us home, took 
their seats under the shade of the banana and 
plantain trees, by which our habitations were 
encircled, and spent an hour or more in making 
inquiries respecting the subjects of our address. 
Indeed, the manner in which they spent their 
Sabbaths was deeply interesting. At sunrise 
they held a prayer-meeting to implore the 
Divine blessing on the engagements of the day. 
This they conducted entirely themselves. At 
nine o'clock the congregation assembled again, 
when the Missionary performed Divine service, 
just as it is conducted in England, prayer 
being offered, the sacred Scriptures read, and 
hymns sung in their own beautiful language ;* 
after which, a sermon is preached to them. 
Prior, however, to the commencement of the 
service, they met in classes, of ten or twelve 
families each, and distributed among themselves 
the respective portions of the sermon which 

The natives sing exceedingly well, and we have 
taught them most of our most popular tunes. They ge- 
nerally take two, and sometimes three parts of a tune. 

eacli individual should bring away ; one saying, 
" Mine shall be the text, and all that is said in 
immediate connexion with it;" another, "I 
will take care of the first division ;" and a third, 
" I will bring home the particulars under that 
head." Thus the sermon was apportioned 
before it was delivered. At our more advanced 
stations, where the New Testament was in the 
hands of our people, we invariably named pas- 
sages of Scripture which were illustrative of the 
particulars under discussion. For instance, if 
the Missionary was preaching upon the love, of 
Christ, his first division might be to describe 
the nature and properties of the Saviour's love ; 
and, under this head, if he referred to its great- 
ness, after having illustrated his point, he would 
desire his hearers, without specifying the verse 
or verses, to read with attention the third chap- 
ter of Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, where 
they would find some sentiments applicable to 
that part of the subject. Opening their Testa- 
ments, they would find the chapter referred to, 
and make a mark against it. A second divi- 
sion might be the unchangeable nature of the 
Saviour's love ; and, having concluded his ob- 
servations on this, the preacher would desire 
the congregation to read carefully the eighth 
chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, where 
they would find some passages illustrative of 
that particular. Again, opening their Testa- 
ments, the chapter would be sought and marked. 
Thus we should proceed through the discourse. 
At a convenient time the respective classes met, 
and, after commencing their social service with 
singing and prayer, one of the most intelligent 
of their number began by inquiring, " With 
whom is the text?" and proposed a variety of 
questions upon it. After this he asked for the 
divisions of the discourse ; and, when one had 
been given, he would say, " To what portion of 
Scripture were we referred?" The chapter, 
having been named, was then read very care- 
fully ; and the verses thought to be applicable 
were selected. This we found a most efficient 
and excellent method of proceeding, as it not 
only induced the people to pay great attention 
to the sermon, but to search the Scriptures with 
interest, and also to exercise their minds upon 
the meaning and application of what they read. 
This social exercise was regarded as a prepara- 
tion for the more public examination, conducted 
by the Missionary, which took place in the cha- 
pel, between the hours of one and two, when 
all the classes assembled ; and seldom was there 
a senliment or sentence of importance in the 
discourse which was not then repeated by one 
or other of the congregation. 


The Adoption of a Code of Laws by the People of Raro- 
tonga To what extent a Missionary should interfere in 
Civil Affairs Conspiracy , with its results Difficulties 
at Rarotonga arising from Polygamy and oilier Hea- 
then Usages -the character of Works expected from 
the pen of a Missionary. 

Circumstances were continually occurring 
j which rendered it imperative that the chiefs of 



Rarotonga should follow the example of those 
at Tahiti and the Society Islands, and adopt a 
code of Christian laws as the basis of the admi- 
nistration of justice in their island ; for, as their 
civil polity was intimately interwoven with their 
sanguinary idolatry, when the one was sub- 
verted, the other perished in its ruins ; whilst 
those ancient usages, which were in accordance 
with the spirit of their religion of necessity 
sank into decay when the people were brought 
under the mild influence of Gospel principles. 
From time immemorial the inhabitants of this 
lovely spot had been addicted to theft ; and, as 
vast numbers of those who professed Christianity 
were influenced by example merely, no sooner 
had the powerful excitement produced by the 
transition from one state of society to another 
subsided, than they returned to the habits in 
which, from their infancy, they had been 

Prior to the introduction of Christianity, they 
had several methods of punishing the delinquent, 
or rather of avenging themselves for the injury 
received. For this purpose the friends and 
relatives of the aggrieved party would go to the 
house of the offender, and take by force what- 
ever article of value they found there, even the 
mats on which he slept. Not unfrequently 
would the house be broken down, the banana- 
trees laid prostrate on the ground, and every 
article of produce destroyed. At other times 
the thief would be murdered on the spot ; in 
addition to which, Makea, the king, would fre- 
quently command that the body should be cut 
in pieces, and the limbs hung up in different 
parts of the kainga, or farm, on which the 
depredations had been committed. In one of 
the adjacent islands, a man caught a little boy, 
about eight years of age, in the act of stealing 
food : he instantly seized the thief, tied a heavy 
stone to his leg, and threw him into the sea. 
The boy sank to the bottom, and would soon 
have paid for the crime with his life, had not 
one of the native teachers, who saw him thrown 
into the water, immediately plunged in, and 
rescued him from his perilous situation. It was 
evident, to the chiefs that none of these san- 
guinary modes of punishment were in accord- 
ance with the merciful spirit of the religion they 
now professed ; and, wishing that their civil and 
judicial polity should be so, they very naturally 
applied to us for advice. Thus it will be seen 
that there was a necessity laid upon us to act in 
these affairs ; and, while we gave the chiefs 
clearly to understand that our objects were 
purely of a spiritual character, we were con- 
vinced that, under existing circumstances, it 
was as much a duty to direct them in the form- 
ation of a code of laws, as it was to instruct 
them in the principles of Christianity itself; 
for, in thus acting, we were simply advising 
them to apply those principles to social life, and 
to substitute them for the ferocity and revenge 
by which all classes had been previously in- 
fluenced. Our circumstances at this time were 
very similar to those in which we had been 
placed at Raiatea, a narration of which, although 
a digression, as they terminated in the esta- 

blishment of a regular code of laws in that 
island, may not be unacceptable. 

A number of wild, dissolute young men, and 
others who, when heathens, had been accus- 
tomed to live by plunder, not liking the re- 
straints which Christianity imposed upon them, 
determined to overturn the government of the 
island, and entered into a regular and organised 
conspiracy for that purpose. In order to effect 
their wicked designs, it was resolved to murder 
me, my colleague, and Tamatoa the chief, who 
countenanced everything calculated to extend 
Christian principles and Christian practice. 

I was in the habit of spending every second 
or third Sabbath at the neighbouring island of 
Tahaa, which was about eight miles from our 
settlement, but always went on the Saturday. 
The four men who had volunteered their ser- 
vices to convey me were among the conspira- 
tors, and had engaged, when about half-way, to 
throw me into the sea, while their associates 
despatched Mr. Threlkeld and Tamatoa. An 
apparently trivial circumstance prevented my 
going on that day. I had repaired and painted 
the boat on the preceding Wednesday, and, not 
having sufficient paint-oil, was under the neces- 
sity of using a considerable portion of a substi- 
tute made from the cocoa-nut, which prevented 
the paint from drying according to my expec- 
tations ; so that, when we prepared to launch the 
boat, we found her unfit for the voyage, and 
were thus prevented from taking the journey. 
The young men came to me several times dur- 
ing the day, and appeared exceedingly anxious 
that we should go ; but I told them, that, as the 
paint was not dry, it was utterly impossible. I 
was not aware at the time what induced them 
to be so very urgent, and as little imagined that 
the simple circumstance above alluded to was 
the means which Providence employed to pre- 
serve me from an untimely death and a watery 
grave. This shows what momentous conse- 
quences are at times poised upon comparatively 
trivial events. Thwarted in their plans, they 
determined on the following day to carry them 
openly and at once into execution ; and, while 
we were sitting at dinner, one of them was sent 
to our house for that purpose. He was dressed 
in a most fantastical manner, having his head 
decorated with leaves, and wearing a pair of 
trousers as a jacket, his arms being passed 
through the legs ; he wore also a red shirt in- 
stead of trousers, his legs being passed through 
the arms, and the band buttoned round the 
waist. He came, brandishing a large carving- 
knife, and danced before the house, crying, 
" Turn out the hog, let us kill him ; turn out 
the pig, let us cut his throat." Annoyed with 
his conduct, and not apprehending any danger, 
I arose from the table to desire him to desist. 
On opening the door, one of the deacons, almost 
breathless with running, met me, thrust me 
back, and exclaimed, "Why do you go outl 
why do you expose your life 1 you are the pig 
he is calling for: you will be dead in a moment." 
The deacon then informed me of the danger I 
had escaped, and of the plot which had just 
been discovered. Thus two days in succession 



had I been in most imminent danger, and yet 
was preserved without the slightest exertion on 
my own part. Many such merciful preserva- 
tions we are all, more or less, constantly expe- 
riencing. This alarming circumstance, how- 
ever, was attended with distressing conse- 
quences. Mrs. Williams was" near the hour of 
maternal solicitude ; and the agitation of mind 
she experienced was so great, that it occasioned 
the premature birth of a lovely babe, which, 
after exciting our painful anxieties for a week, 
fled to the region of the blessed, leaving us to 
mingle our tears of parental sorrow for its loss. 
It was the first bereavement we had experi- 
enced, and we felt it most keenly. On the fol- 
lowing day the chiefs held a meeting, and deter- 
mined to put the four ringleaders to death. 
We remonstrated with them, when, after a 
whole day's discussion, they yielded to our 
wishes, and spared the lives of the conspirators. 
In the course of conversation the chiefs inquired 
what the English people would do under such 
circumstances ; when we informed them that in 
England there were established laws and judges, 
by which all offenders of every kind were tried 
and punished. They then wished to know 
what judges and laws were ; and, upon having 
the nature of the office of judge, and the cha- 
racter of a code of laws, explained to them, 
they said, " Why cannot we have the same V 
They, therefore, nominated a judge, pro tem- 
pore, by whom the criminals were tried, and 
the ringleaders sentenced to four years' banish- 
ment to an uninhabited island. This occur- 
rence induced the chiefs and people of Raiatea 
to adopt, as the basis of public justice, a code of 
laws, which Mr. Threlkeld and myself assisted in 
preparing. The laws were but few in number, 
and drawn up in the plainest and most perspi- 
cuous language, entirely devoid of all the tech- 
nicalities and repetitions by which the statutes 
of enlightened and civilised countries are too 
frequently rendered obscure and perplexing : 
for it appeared to us of the greatest importance 
that they should be so simply and clearly ex- 
pressed, that they might be easily understood 
by the people for whom they were framed. 
We determined, also, as far as possible, to lay 
a permanent foundation for the civil liberties of 
the people, by instituting at once that greatest 
barrier to oppression trial by jury. The same 
code, a little modified, was, after much delibe- 
ration and consultation, adopted by the chiefs 
and people of Rarotonga ; and thus we trust 
that the reign of despotism, tyranny, and private 
revenge, under which the inhabitants of this 
secluded garden had so long groaned, has for 
ever terminated. 

The laws enacted related to theft, trespass, 
stolen property, " land eating,"* lost property, 
Sabbath-breaking, rebellion, marriage, adultery, 
the judges, jury, &c. &c. We did not think it 
advisable to recommend the enactment of any 
law relative to murder, because we were 
doubtful as to the punishment which should be 

* A term we shall have frequent occasion to use. It 
sigui'jes the forcible and unjust possession of each other's 
Ian J. 

awarded to this crime, and were both of opinion 
that no necessity existed for the immediate pro- 
mulgation of a law on the subject, and that the 
people were not sufficiently advanced in know- 
ledge to enter upon the discussion. The chiefs 
and people were themselves induced, some 
considerable time after, by a most tragical and 
distressing circumstance, to pass the law which 
we had omitted ; and, at an assembly in which 
almost every inhabitant of the island was 
present, it was unanimously determined that 
deliberate murder should be punished with 
death. This was entirely their own act, so 
that its consequences will rest with themselves. 
When the event took place to which I refer, we 
were grateful that we had not advised this 
enactment, for otherwise we could not have 
saved the lives of the two culprits, whose sen- 
tence we succeeded in getting commuted from 
death to banishment. I am not, however, 
satisfied that we were strictly just in our inter- 
ference on that peculiarly trying occasion ; for 
the woman and her guilty associate had bar- 
barously murdered the sick husband, in order 
that they might be united in marriage. 

There were two most delicate and perplexing 
subjects which required adjustment, prior to the 
final establishment of the laws. The first re- 
ferred to a plurality of wives. This was a 
matter of much deliberation between my 
esteemed colleague and myself, before we 
decided how to act. Prior to the introduction 
of Christianity, polygamy existed to a very con- 
siderable extent ; and, when a person having a 
plurality of wives offered himself as a candidate 
for baptism, the teachers had required that the 
individual should make a selection of one of 
them, and also provide for the support of those 
whom he put away. The measure succeeded 
beyond what might have been reasonably anti- 
cipated ; and of the number who complied with 
this condition, only about twenty or twenty-five 
persons occasioned any trouble ; but among 
these was the king, which considerably increased 
our difficulty. When we conversed with them 
on the subject, some said that they had re- 
turned to each other, because they had not 
been left at liberty in their choice ; whilst 
others alleged that they supposed the separation 
would be only temporary, and that, had they 
known it was to be permanent, they should have 
made a different selection. Acting upon this 
information, Mr. Pitman and myself thought 
the best, and, indeed, the only way to overcome 
the difficulty entirely, would be to convene the 
people, recommend that those who were dis- 
satisfied should be allowed to select publicly 
either of their wives, and then be united to 
her in marriage in the presence of the whole 
assembly. The maintenance of the rejected 
wife or wives and children was also a very 
serious consideration, for it is not at Rarotonga, 
as at Tahiti and the Society Islands, where pro- 
visions are abundant, a matter of slight import- 
ance ; but a female depends almost entirely on 
her husband. Knowing that the king's course 
would form a precedent, we commenced by re- 
questing him to name publicly the individual he 



intended to make his companion for life ; and 
of his three wives he selected the youngest, 
who had borne him one child, in preference to 
his own sister, by whom he had had three 
children, and his principal wife, who was the 
mother of nine or ten. He was then married 
to her in the presence of his people. 

On the following morning, Pivai, the prin- 
cipal wife, took a mat to sleep upon, the 
mallets with which to make cloth for the 
husband who had abandoned her, and the 
beloved children she had borne him, and left 
the king's house to take up her residence in 
the solitude of widowhood. Scarcely a person 
in the settlement could refrain from tears, at 
seeing so worthy and amiable a woman, the 
mother of so large and fine a family, in those 
painful circumstances ; and very considerable 
indignation was evinced on the occasion. We 
ourselves deeply sympathised with her ; for she 
was a woman universally esteemed, and from 
all that we knew of her we believed she was 
worthy of that esteem. A few days before 
leaving, she came to our house, and, while con- 
versing with Mrs. 'Williams upon the subject, 
said, although her affection for her husband was 
very great, and she was truly distressed at the 
prospect of being separated from him, she had 
made up her mind to the painful event, con- 
vinced that it was preferable ; for, as his affec- 
tions were set upon his youngest wife, if she 
remained, she should become the occasion of 
his living in sin ; and rather than this, she 
would endure the separation, distressing as it 
might prove. This we regarded as a pleasing 
evidence of the power of Christian principle 
upon her mind. She took the opportunity of 
leaving the house while her husband was at 
school ; and, on his return to it, he was much 
affected at finding his faithful companion gone ; 
for, although his affections were placed on the 
youngest wife, he had a great esteem for Pivai, 
who had borne him so large a family, and had 
proved faithful and industrious for so many 
years. The king behaved honourably in giving 
her the produce of about twenty farms, the 
tenants of which were to obey her orders and 
do her work. This devoted and affectionate 
woman spent the whole period of her widow- 
hood, which continued for three or four years, 
in making native garments of the very best 
quality for her late husband and children ; 
always taking the utmost pains, and displaying 
the greatest skill, in what she made for the 
former, thus testifying her unabated affection. 
After about four years the wife of Tinomana, 
'che chief of a neighbouring settlement, died, and 
Pivai was united to him in marriage, by which 
she is again raised to the dignity she enjoyed 
prior to the painful separation from her former 
husband. We have reason to believe that Tino- 
mana is a truly good man, and that they are 
remarkably happy in each other. 

Having this precedent, we advanced to the 
consideration of the other cases, and found but 
little difficulty in settling this truly perplexing 
affair. The measures adopted terminated ex- 
ceedingly well ; for, from that time to the 

I present, no inconvenience has been experienced. 
I am aware that there may be a difference of 
opinion upon this delicate subject; but I 
cherish the hope that a candid and comprehen- 
sive consideration of existing circumstances will 
lead to the conclusion that our proceedings 
were both suitable and salutary. Had those 
who were determined to take back their wives 
been allowed to do so, it would have universally 
restored polygamy ; and thus all that had been 
effected by the teachers towards the removal of 
this evil would have been rendered nugatory. 

I have felt disappointed when reading the 
writings of Missionaries, at not finding a fuller 
account of the difficulties they have had to con- 
tend with, and the measures by which these were 
met. It appears to me that a work from the 
pen of a Missionary should not contain just 
what might be written by one who has never 
left his native country, but a plain statement of 
the perplexities with which he has been com- 
pelled to grapple, and the means adopted to 
overcome them ; that if judicious and beneficial, 
others, placed in similar circumstances, may 
profit by his experience ; and, if otherwise, that 
they may avoid falling into similar errors. 
Should his plans in some cases have been less 
prudent than might have been desired, lie has 
nothing to fear from the scrutiny of wise and 
good men, who will consider the situation in 
which he was placed, and the necessity under 
which he was laid of devising and executing 
measures in novel circumstances ; where, un- 
directed by any precedent, he was thrown 
entirely upon the resources of his own judg- 

Other difficulties were presented by the 
peculiar and intricate character of some of the 
ancient usages which we were anxious to see 
abolished. One of these was a very unnatural 
practice, called kukumi anga. As soon as a son 
reached manhood he would fight and wrestle 
with his father for the mastery, and, if he 
obtained it, would take forcible possession of the 
kainga or farm previously belonging to his 
parent, whom he drove in a state of destitution 
from his home. Another perplexing custom 
was the ao anga. When a wife was bereft, by 
the hand of death, of her husband, the relations 
of the latter, instead of paying the visit of mercy 
and kindness " to the fatherless and widow in 
their affliction," would seize every article of 
value belonging to the deceased, turn the dis- 
consolate mother with her offspring away, and 
possess themselves of the house, the food, and 
the land. Another difficulty was produced by 
what they call kai kainga, or land- eating, which 
is getting unjust possession of each other's 
lands ; and these, once obtained, are held with 
the greatest possible tenacity ; for land is ex- 
ceedingly valuable at Rarotonga, and on no 
subject were their contentions more frequent 
and fierce. On investigating this last practice, 
we found it to be a species of oppression in which 
so many were involved, and also a point upon 
which the feelings of all were so exquisitely sen- 
sitive, that to moot it would be to endanger the 
peace of the island. We therefore thought it 


most advisable to recommend the chiefs to allow 
it to remain for the present in abeyance. 

After these preliminary matters had under- 
gone mature deliberation, and the laws in re- 
ference to them were agreed upon, a general 
assembly was convened ; when the whole code, 
having been distinctly read and carefully ex- 
plained, was unanimously adopted by the chiefs 
and the people, as the basis on which public 
justice was to be administered on the island of 

From what I have related, it will be evident 
that the year I spent with Mr. Pitman at Raro- 
tonga was one of anxiety, difficulty, and toil ; 
and feeling our "lack of wisdom, we asked of 
God, who giveth to all men liberally, and up- 
braideth not." Some, perhaps, many object, 
i that the above are points with which a Mis- 
sionary ought not to meddle. I cannot here 
enter into a lengthened discussion, as to the 
extent to which the Missionary may wisely 
interfere with the civil institutions of the people, 
but may just observe, that it would be criminal 
were he, while seeking to elevate the moral 
character of a community, and tp promote 
among it the habits and usages of civilised life, 
to withhold any advice or assistance which 
might advance these designs. Inmost cases, as 
it was at Raiotonga, the civil and judicial polity 
of the heathen, and all their ancient usages, are 
interwoven with their superstitions ; and, as all 
these partake of the sanguinary character of the 
system in which they were embodied, and by 
which they were sanctioned, they maintain a 
perpetual warfare with the well-being of the 
community. The Missionary goes among them, 
and, by the blessing of God upon his labours, 
they are delivered from the dominion of the 
idolatrous system which had governed them for 
ages, and in its stead embrace Christianity. 
Subsequently they become acquainted with new 
principles ; are taught to read portions of the 
word of God, which are translated and put 
into their hands ; and soon perceive that these 
ancient usages are so incompatible with Chris- 
tian precepts, that such a superstructure cannot 
stand on a Christian foundation. To whom, 
then, in this dilemma, can they apply for advice, 
but to the persons from whom they have 
derived their knowledge 1 And what less can 
the Missionary do than give it freely and fully ! 
I would not, however, be supposed to advocate 
the assumption of political authority by the 
Missionary ; for, on the contrary, I am con- 
vinced that he should interfere as little as pos- 
sible ; and, whether it be in civil, legal, or 
political affairs, that he should do so solely by 
his advice and influence. But there are 
occasions, especially in newly-formed missions, 
when he must step out of his ordinary course, 
and appear more prominent than he would 
wish ; for frequently a word from the Mis- 
sionary, rightly timed, will do more towards 
settling a dispute, healing a breach, burying an 
animosity, or carrying a useful plan into execu- 
tion, than a whole year's cavilling of the natives 
themselves. And here, in answer to the charge 
that the Missionaries in the South Seas have 

assumed even regal authority, I may observe, 
that no Missionary in the Pacific ever possessed 
any such authority ; that his influence is 
entirely of a moral character : and I may add, 
that there are no instances on record where men 
have used their influence less for their own 
aggrandisement, or more for the welfare of the 


Mrs. Williams's Illness She gives her consent to the 
Author's visiting the Samoa Islands Resolve to build 
a Ship Make a pair ot Bellows Deficiencies in books 
upon the useful arts The Hats eat the llellows Make a 
pair of Wooden ones Messenger of Peace completed 
Voyage to Aitutaki The King accompanies the Author 
Return with a singular Cargo Pleasing Incidents on 
our Arrival. 

The next circumstance of importance which 
occurred while atRarotonga was Mrs. Williams's 
illness. My mind had for some time before this 
been contemplating the extension of our labours 
to the Navigators' Islands and the New Hebrides ; 
and, as far back as 1824, I wrote to the Directors 
of the Missionary Society upon the subject. 
As the Gospel was now established at the Her- 
vey Islands, I began more seriously to think of 
taking a voyage to those distant groups ; and 
prior to my leaving Raiatea, I communicated 
my wishes to Mrs. Williams ; who, on learning 
that the islands I proposed to visit were from 
1800 to 2000 miles distant, and that I should 
be absent about six months, exclaimed, " How 
can you suppose that I can give my consent to 
such a strange proposition] You will be 
eighteen hundred miles away, six months ab- 
sent, and among the most savage people we are 
acquainted with ; and if you should lose your 
life in the attempt, I shall be left a widow with 
my fatherless children, twenty thousand miles 
from my friends and my home." Finding her 
so decidedly opposed to the undertaking, I did 
not mention it again, although my mind was 
still fixed upon the object. A few months after 
this she was laid upon a bed of affliction ; her 
illness came on so rapidly and severely, that in 
a few hours she was in a state of insensibility, 
and we greatly feared that it would terminate 
fatally : the prospect was truly distressing. 
Bereavements, at all times, inflict a deep and 
painful wound, and leave a fearful chasm in 
the domestic circle ; but to have had the part- 
ner of my days, the mother of my babes, taken 
away with a stroke, in an insulated situation, 
remote from the kind and soothing attentions 
of friendship, and the endearments of home, 
would have left me cheerless and disconsolate. 

God, however, was pleased to hear our cries ; 
and, after a week or ten days, she was partially 
restored to health. On entering her chamber, 
one afternoon, addressing me in affectionate 
terms, Mrs. Williams said, that ihe had been 
endeavouring to discover the design of God in 
sending this sudden and heavy affliction : and 
her thoughts turned to the opposition by which 
she had induced me to relinquish, for a time, 
my voyage to the Navigators' Islands ; and, 




fearing that, if she any longer withheld her 
consent, God, perhaps, might remove her alto- 
gether, she continued " From this time your 
desire has my full concurrence ; and when you 
go I shall follow you everyday with my prayers, 
that God may preserve you from danger, crown 
your attempt with success, and bring you back 
in safety." I was rather surprised at the cir- 
cumstance, not having mentioned my wish for 
months : however, I looked upon it as the first 
indication of Providence favourable to my de- 
sign, and began immediately to devise the means 
by which I might carry it into execution. 
After some deliberation, I determined to attempt 
to build a vessel ; and, although I knew little 
of ship-building, and had scarcely any tools to 
work with, I succeeded, in about three months, 
in completing a vessel, between seventy and 
eighty tons burden, with no other assistance 
than that which the natives could render, who 
were wholly unacquainted with any mechanical 
art. I thought, at first, of getting the keel only 
at Rarotonga, and completing the vessel at 
Raiatea but, as the king, chiefs, and people 
urged me to build it at their island, promising 
me at the same time every assistance in their 
power, I yielded to their wishes. As many 
friends have expressed a desire to know the 
means by which this great work was effected, I 
shall be rather more minute in detailing them 
than I should otherwise have been. 

My first step was to make a pair of smith's 
bellows ; for it is well known that little can be 
done towards the building of a ship without a 
forge. We had but four goats on the island, 
and one of these was giving a little milk, which 
was too valuable to he dispensed with ; so that 
three only were killed ; and with their skins, 
as a substitute for leather, I succeeded, after 
three or four days' labour, in making a pair of 
smith's bellows. These, however, did not answer 
very well ; indeed, I found bellows-making to be 
a more difficult task than I had imagined, for I 
could not get the upper box to fill properly ; in 
addition to which my bellows drew in the fire. 
I examined publications upon mechanic arts, 
dictionaries, and encyclopaedias, but not one 
book in our possession gave directions suf- 
ficiently explicit for the construction of so com- 
mon an article ; and it appears to me a general 
deficiency in all the works I have seen on the 
useful arts, that they do not supply such simple 
instructions and explanations as would direct 
to the accomplishment of an important and 
useful object by means less complex than the 
machinery of civilised countries. When, for 
example, we were anxious to make sugar, and 
for this purpose carefully read the article on 
sugar-boiling in the most popular Encyclo- 
paedia in our possession, not having the ap- 
paratus therein described, we derived no practi- 
cal benefit from it. If, in addition to a thorough 
and scientific description of the most perfect 
methods, there were appended plain and simple 
directions for manufacturing the article without 
the expensive machinery in common use, it 
would certainly be of immense service to persons 
situated as we, and emigrants to new colonies, 

have been. These remarks are applicable to 
soap-boiling, salt-making, paper-manufacturing, 
and a variety of other prucesses of a similar 

Missionaries, and others leaving the country, 
when in search of information upon various 
important subjects, generally fail in their object 
by seeking it where everything is effected by 
complex machinery, and all the improvements 
of the present uge are found in perfection. It 
was so with us. We were taken to places of 
the above description ; we gazed, we wondered, 
and were delighted, but obtained no practical 
information ; for few imagine that there is any 
other way of effecting an object than that which 
they see. All persons going to uncivilised 
countries, especially Missionaries, should seek 
that knowledge which may be easily applied, 
as they have to do everything themselves, and 
in situations where they cannot obtain the 
means in general use elsewhere. It may, by 
some, be thought unwise to go back a hundred 
years, and employ the tedious processes then in 
use, rather than embrace the facilities which 
the experience of succeeding ages has afforded. 
But such an opinion, although specious, is un- 
sound. Let the circumstances of the Mis- 
sionary, and the state of the people to whom he 
goes, be taken into the account, and it must be 
at once obvious, that the simplicity of the means 
used two or three hundred years ago would 
better suit both his condition and theirs than 
the more complex improvements of modern 

On our arrival at Raiatea, I took my old English 
bellows .to pieces ; not, as the tale goes, to look 
for the wind, but to ascertain the reason why 
mine did not blow as well as others. I had 
not proceeded far when the mystery was ex- 
plained, and I stood amazed at my own igno- 
rance ; for, instead of making the pipe com- 
municate only with the upper chamber, I had 
inserted it into the under as well, by which the 
wind escaped, and the flame was drawn in. 
To complete my perplexities, the rats, which 
at Rarotonga were like one of the plagues of 
Egypt, as if by general consent, congregated 
during the night in immense numbers, and 
devoured every particle of the goats'-skins ; and 
on entering the workshop in the morning, I 
was mortified by the discovery that nothing 
remained of my unfortunate bellows but the 
bare boards. This was really vexatious, for I 
had no material to supply the loss. Still bent 
upon the accomplishment of my object, and 
while anxiously considering the best means 
" to raise the wind," for that was essential to 
my success, it struck me that, as a pump threw 
water, a machine constructed upon the same 
principle must of necessity throw wind. I 
therefore made a box, about eighteen or twenty 
inches square, and four feet high ; put a valve 
at the bottom, and fitted in a damper, similar 
to the piston in the cylinder of a steam-engine. 
This we loaded with stones to force it down 
with velocity, and attached to it a long lever, 
by which it was again raised. Before placing 
it near the fire we tried it, and were delighted 



with our success ; but, on bringing it in con- 
tact with that devouring element, its deficien- 
cies were soon developed. In the first place, 
we found that there was too great an interval 
between the blasts, and, secondly, that like its 
predecessor it sucked in the fire so fast, that in 
a few minutes it was in a blaze. We soon ex- 
tinguished the flames, and remedied the evil by 

making a valve at the back of the pipe com- 
municating with the fire, which opened to let 
out the wind, and shut when the machine was 
filling. To overcome the other inconvenience, 
we concluded, that if one box would give us 
one blast, two would double it ; and we there- 
fore made another of the same dimensions, and 
worked them alternately; thus keeping up a 

continual blast, or rather a succession of blasts. 
Eight or ten men were required to work them ; 
but labour was cheap, and the natives were 
delighted with the employment. "With this 
contrivance we did all our iron-work, using a 
perforated stone for a fire-iron, an anvil of the 
same material, and a pair of carpenter's pincers 
for our tongs. As a substitute for coals, we 
made charcoal, from the cocoa- nut, tamanu, 
and other trees. The first iron the natives saw 
worked excited their astonishment exceedingly, 
especially the welding of two pieces together. 
Old and young, men and women, chieftain and 
peasant, hastened to behold the wonder ; and 
when they saw the ease with which heated iron 
could be wrought, they exclaimed, " Why did 
not we think of heating the hard stuff also, 
instead of beating it with stones 1 What a 
reign of dark hearts Satan's is!" Nothing, 
however, in the ship excited more interest than 
the pumps ; even the king was so much de- 
lighted, that he frequently had his favourite 
stool carried on board, and entertained himself 
for hours in pumping out the bilge-water. As 

we had no saw, we split the trees in half with 
wedges ; and then the natives adzed them down 
with small hatchets, which they tied to a crooked 
piece of wood as a handle, and used as a sub- 
stitute for the adze. When we wanted a bent 
or twisted plank, having no apparatus for steam- 
ing it, we bent a piece of bamboo to the shape 
required, sent into the woods for a crooked 
tree, and by splitting this in half obtained two 
planks suited to our purpose. Having but 
little iron, we bored large auger-holes through 
the timbers, and also through the outer and 
inner plank of the vessel, and drove in wooden 
pins, termed trenails, by which the whole fabric 
was held firmly together. As a substitute for 
oakum, we used what little cocoa-nut husk we 
could obtain, and supplied the deficiency with 
dried banana stumps, native cloth, or other 
substances which would answer the purpose. 
For ropes we obtained the bark of the hibiscus, 
constructed a rope machine, and prepared ex- 
cellent cordage from that article. For sails we 
used the mats on which the natives sleep, and 
quilted them that they might be strong enough 



to resist the wind. After making a turning- 
lathe, we found that the aito, or iron-wood, 
answered remarkably well for the sheaves of 
blocks. By these means the whole was com- 
pleted in fifteen weeks ; when we launched a 
vessel, about sixty feet in length, and eighteen 
feet in breadth, and called her " The Messen- 
ger of Peace," which she has proved to be on 
many occasions. The hanging of the rudder 
occasioned me some difficulty ; for, having no 
iron sufficiently large for pintles, we made them 
from a piece of a pickaxe, a cooper's adze, and 
a large hoe. They answered exceedingly well ; 
but, being doubtful of this, I prepared a sub- 
stitute for a rudder, in case any part of it should 
give way. 

Thinking it prudent to try our vessel before 
we ventured to Tahiti, which was seven or 
eight hundred miles from us, I determined on 
a visit to our interesting station at Aitutaki, 
which was only about 170 miles distant. As 
the king, Makea, had never seen any other 
island, he determined to accompany me. Raising 
our wooden and stone anchors, and hoisting 
our mat sails, I took my compass and quadrant, 
and put to sea, accompanied only by natives. 
We had not proceeded above six miles from 
the shore when, in shifting the sails, the na- 
tives not observing what was said to them, and 
not being acquainted with maritime usages, let 
the foresail go, and, as the wind was very 
strong, it broke our foremast. Providentially, 
however, about twelve or fifteen feet above the 
deck was left standing ; and, having cleared the 
wreck, and hoisted a part of our sail on the 
broken mast, we turned back, and were thank- 
ful to find that we should reach the land, 
although several miles to leeward of the har- 
bour. We filled a cask with stones, which, in 
addition to our wooden anchor, we hoped 
might hold the vessel outside the reef; and if 
not, I resolved on the desperate alternative of 
running upon it, by which the vessel, in all 
probability, would have been dashed to pieces ; 
but this was preferable to being driven from the 
island with a scanty supply of provisions, and 
the ship in a crippled state, in a track where 
there was not an island within a thousand 
miles. Happily we had a number of natives 
on board, and by making them all work, we 
succeeded by sunset, contrary to expectation, 
in reaching the harbour in safety. We got a 
new mast, repaired our damages, and in a few 
days sailed again. Having a strong and 
favourable wind, we reached Aitutaki on Sab- 
bath morning, in time to conduct the services 
of the day. 

After remaining eight or ten days, with much 
interest to ourselves, and, we hope, advantage 
to the people, we returned to Rarotonga with a 
most singular cargo, principally consisting of 
pigs, cocoa-nuts, and cats ; the king having ob- 
tained about seventy of the first, and a number 
of the last. Notwithstanding the singularity of 
our importation, it was peculiarly valuable to 
the inhabitants of Rarotonga ; for, prior to this, 
they had no other than a breed of small native 
pigs, of which there were but few, as they were 

particularly tender and difficult to rear ; and the 
cats were so valuable that one was quite a trea- 
sure, as the rats were astonishingly numerous ; so 
much so, indeed, that we never sat down to a 
meal without having two or more persons to 
keep them off the table. When kneeling at 
family prayer they would run over us in all 
directions ; and we found much difficulty in 
keeping them out of our beds. One morning, 
on hearing the servant scream, while making the 
bed, we ran into the room, and found that four 
of these intruders, in search of a snug place, had 
crept under my pillow ; they paid, however, for 
their temerity with their lives. Our friends, 
Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, experienced equal in- 
convenience from these troublesome and disgust- 
ing little animals. Some of the trunks were 
covered with skin, on which the rats commenced 
very effectual operations, as they had done before 
upon my unfortunate bellows ; and Mrs. Pitman, 
having one night neglected to put her shoes in 
a place of safety, sought for them the following 
morning in vain ; for these nocturnal ramblers, 
being in search of a supper, had devoured them; 
and a pair of shoes in the South Seas is no con- 
temptible loss. This, however, was a serious 
affair for their fraternity ; for our friends com- 
plained to the authorities of the station, who 
forthwith issued a decree of extermination against 
the whole race of rats ; and, after school, man, 
woman, and child armed themselves with a suit- 
able weapon, and commenced their direful oper- 
ations. Baskets were made of the cocoa-nut 
leaves, about five or six feet in length, in which 
to deposit the bodies of the slain, and in about 
an hour, no less than thirty of these were filled. 
But, notwithstanding this destruction, there did 
not appear the slightest diminution, from which 
it will be perceived that cats were not the least 
valuable animal that could be taken to the island. 
These, however, did not destroy so many rats 
as the pigs, which were exceedingly voracious, 
and did much towards ridding the island of the 
intolerable nuisance. Besides hogs and cats, 
Makea and those who accompanied him obtained 
a considerable quantity of native cloth and mats, 
which are highly esteemed and of considerable 
worth at Rarotonga. Another valuable portion 
of our cargo was a large supply of cocoa-nuts ; 
for, a short time before our first visit, a very dis- 
astrous war had taken place, in which the king 
and his party were beaten, and driven for a time 
to take refuge in a natural fortress in the moun- 
tains. The victors then cut down and destroyed 
all the bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees, so that 
on the north, west, and south sides of the island, 
which were conquered by the inhabitants of the 
east, not an old cocoa-nut tree was to be seen. 
This supply, under these circumstances, was 
consequently of great value for seed. The king 
made a distribution of his treasures among his 
chiefs and friends : all were therefore delighted 
with the voyage. 

Having never been to sea before, Makea had 
many wonders to tell. One of his expressions 
was, " Never again will I call those men warriors 
who fight on the shore ; the English only, w<ho 
battle with the winds and waves of the ocean, 



are worthy of that name." On our voyage to 
Aitutaki we had a strong wind and a heavy sea, 
and during the night the waves gave the vessel 
many severe blows, at which his majesty was 
much alarmed, and asked me very seriously if 
she would not be knocked to pieces ; and, on 
being assured that there was no danger, he was 
for a time oatisfied, but not so fully as to allow 
me to be for one moment out of his sight. The 
weather being very boisterous, I was under the 
necessity of frequently going on deck during the 
night ; but on every such occasion the king fol- 
lowed me, and appeared to feel safe only at my 
side. As the wind was unfavourable, and we 
were three days and three nights in returning 
to Rarotonga, on the second evening the king 
began to get anxious and restless, fearing that we 
had missed the island, and were sailing " i te tarera 
kaua," or into wide gaping space. And when 
on the third evening the sun had retired beneath 
the horizon, and no land was descried, Makea 
became exceedingly distressed, almost despairing 
of again beholding his beloved isle. I endea- 
voured to console him by requesting him to go 
to sleep till the moon should rise, when I pro- 
mised that he should see the land. He replied 
by a very significant question, ka moeiaetama? 
" Can I sleep, friend V and determined to re- 
main on deck until the time I mentioned, when, 
to his inexpressible joy, Rarotonga was insight. 
His varied and singular expressions evinced the 
delightful emotions which the sight of the island 
kindled in his breast. Nothing appeared to 
excite so much astonishment as the accuracy 
with which we could tell the time when land 
would be seen. His inquiries were unceasing, 
how it was possible we could speak with so much 
precision about that which we could not see. 

On entering the harbour we were struck with 
the appearance of our house ; for, as the ship 
had been built just in front of it, much rubbish 
had been collected, the fence surrounding the 
front garden was broken down, and the bananas 
and shrubs destroyed. This was the state of 
things when we left the island, but now not only 
was the fence repaired, and the garden well cul- 
tivated, but the dark red mountain plantain, and 
golden banana, fully ripe, were smiling a wel- 
come to us through the splendid leaves which 
surrounded the trunks that bore them. It 
appears that Mrs. Williams had intimated to 
the females who attended her for instruction, 
that it would afford her pleasure to have the 
pathway and garden put in order by the time of 
my arrival. They were delighted with the sug- 
gestion, and answered, " We will not leave a 
chip against which, on his return, he shall strike 
his feet." The following morning they com- 
menced making the pathways. For this pur- 
pose they placed large flat stones for curb edging, 
and filled the intervals with kirikiri, or small 
broken pieces of branching coral thrown up by 
the sea ; and strewed black pebbles amongst 
them, which, being intermingled with the white 
coral, gave to the broad pathway a neat and 
lively appearance. They then planted the sides 
with full grown ti * trees, interspersed with the 
Dracana, terminalis. 

gigantic taro, or kape. * By their request their 
husbands undertook to repair the fence round 
the house, while they ornamented the enclosure 
with banana and plantain trees, bearing fruit 
which would be ripe about the time of our ex- 
pected return ; and the kind people appeared 
amply rewarded, by observing the pleasure which 
their work aiforded us. 


Sir. Buzacott' s arrival Receive Letters from England 
from the Rev. Matthew Wilks. &c. Also from Kaiatea 
Character ami Death of Tuahine We leave Raroton- 
ga Useful Arts introduced among the People Voyage 
fromKarotonga to Tahiti Makea's Return. 

Shortly after our return from Aitutaki, we 
were cheered by the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. 
Buzacott ; and as they were to occupy the station 
we were about to leave, they took up their resi- 
dence with us. The very day after they landed, 
Mr. Buzacott, who is an excellent mechanic, 
put on his apron, turned up his sleeves, and be- 
gan to work at the forge. On seeing this the 
people were much delighted, especially Makea, 
who exclaimed, " This is the man for us ! this is 
the man for us!" Mr. Buzacott, on being intro- 
duced to my bellows, exclaimed, " What have 
you here V and, when I informed him, he 
laughed heartily, and wished to break them to 
pieces, and with the materials to make a proper 
pair ; but although they were unwieldy in their 
dimensions, unsightly in their appearance, and 
quite unhellowslike in their construction, yet they 
answered the purpose well ; and while I had 
no objection that my ingenious young brother 
should try his skill, I wished to have some proof 
of it before I consented to destroy the useful 
machine necessity had compelled me to invent. 
By the timely arrival of these kind friends, our 
wants were supplied, and our troubles, in a 
measure, terminated. To our esteemed fellow- 
labourers, also, Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, it was a 
source of great satisfaction ; for being in deli- 
cate health, they had at one time questioned the 
propriety of remaining at Rarotonga after our 
departure : but by the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. 
Buzacott their anxieties were entirely removed. 
Prior, however, to this important accession to 
the Rarotonga mission, they had formed so strong 
an attachment to the people and the people to 
them, that they had generously determined to 
remain on this isolated spot, amidst those who 
had just emerged from barbarism, and at a dis- 
tance of six hundred miles from any of their 
brethren ; and God has since graciously rewarded 
them for their devotedness to his service. By 
Mr. Buzacott I received many letters, one of 
which was from my beloved and venerable pas- 
tor, the Rev. Matthew Wilks, and its insertion 
here will be gratifying to myself, and not less so 
to the numerous friends who venerate his 


" Dear to me as the apple of my eye, * * * 
J do love you. My heart leaps when I think of 
you ; I do pray for you I pray that you may 
Caladium odoratum. 



never be weary in well doing I pray that you 
may abound in every good word and work I 
pray that you may be the living epistle of Christ, 
known and read of all men I pray that you 
may live long, and be useful all your life long ; 
and when you and I are called to render an ac- 
count, that we may hear our Master say, ' Enter 
ye into the joy of your Lord.' Then we will 
answer, 'Yes, Lord, through thy infinite mercy.' 

" Then we with all in glory 

Shall thankfully repeat 
The amazing pleasing story 

Of Jesus' love so great. 

" In this blest contemplation, 

We shall for ever dwell ; 
And prove such consolation 

As none below can tell. 

" News. Old Tab. yet stands where she did 
and, for the most part, fills as she did many 
die off and enter their rest. We have had two 
very great losses Mr. Wilson, and my dear 
brother Hyatt. I cannot be long, being now 
turned 80 and have this week been cupped. 
Of all the mortals that inherit the kingdom of 
God I shall be the most unworthy, and yet I 
hope I shall arrive safely. 

" Pray give my very kind love to your brethren : 
live together, co-operate, make a common cause in 
your exalted labours. The Lord fill your new 
chapel with truly Christian worshippers, and 
make it one of his resting-places ! * * * Grace, 
mercy, and peace be with you all, and believe 
me, in undissembled love, to be your once affec- 
tionate pastor and patron. 

"M. Wilks." 

At the same time I received communications 
from my own station at Raiatea, and was grieved 
to find that my truly valuable deacon, Tuahine, 
had been taken to his rest. He was one of the 
two lads who began first to call upon the name 
of the Lord Jesus in Tahiti. A lengthened ac- 
count of this interesting individual would no 
doubt be acceptable to the reader, but I fear to 
attempt anything beyond a bare outline of his 
history ; for I am anxious to curtail and com- 
press the information I have to communicate 
into as small a compass as possible. 

When the great work of conversion com- 
menced at Tahiti, one of the Missionaries, on 
going into the bushes for meditation and secret 
prayer, there being no place for retirement in 
the native habitations, heard a sound, which on 
listening attentively he discovered to be the voice 
of prayer. It was the first time that any Mis- 
sionary's heart had been gladdened by hearing 
a native of Tahiti use the language of devotion. 

This individual had been impressed by some 
remarks from Pomare ; and, anxious to possess 
a friend to whom he could unbosom his feelings, 
he applied to Tuahine, who had for a long time 
lived in the mission families. Happily, Tuahine's 
mind was in a similar state, and they resolved 
to retire frequently to the valleys for conversa- 
tion and prayer, by which exercises these salu- 
tary and delightful impressions were deepened. 
After a time, several young persons united with 
them ; and this little band, without any Mission- 
ary to guide them, agreed to refrain from the 

worship of their idols, and from the wicked 
practices to which their countrymen were ad- 
dicted, to observe the Sabbath-day, and to wor- 
ship Jehovah alone. As Christianity spread, 
Tuahine rendered essential service to the Mis- 
sionaries, by directing the inquiries of the new 
converts, and teaching in the schools. Possess- 
ing an accurate acquaintance with his own lan- 
guage, and, by his long residence with the Mis- 
sionaries, having obtained a considerable amount 
of scriptural knowledge, he was qualified to 
afford valuable assistance in translating the Scrip- 
tures, which he did, first to Mr. Nott, and after- 
wards to myself. Frequently has he sat eight 
and ten hours a-day aiding me in this important 
work ; and to him are we in a great measure 
indebted for the correctness with which we have 
been enabled to give the oracles of truth to the 
people. When we removed to Raiatea he ac- 
companied us, and, as might have been expected, 
his counsel and assistance, especially in the 
schools and in teaching us the language, were 
most invaluable. When I was absent from 
home he was left in charge of the station ; and 
his addresses, which were most beautiful speci- 
mens of native eloquence, resembling more the 
mildness of a Barnabas than the thunder of a 
Boanerges, were exceedingly acceptable to the 
people. The neatness of his style, the correct- 
ness of his language, and the simplicity and 
beauty of his similes, never failed to rivet the at- 
tention of his hearers. He had also a surprising 
gift in prayer. Many times have I listened 
with intense interest to the glowing language of 
devotion which flowed from his lips. He was 
much respected by the people ; maintained an 
honourable course many years ; discharged the 
office of deacon with diligence and fidelity, and 
died at the age of about forty-five, in the enjoy- 
ment of the consolations of the Gospel. A day 
or two before his death he wrote to me the fol- 
lowing letter : 

Raiatea, November 11th, 1827. 
"Oh, dear Friend, 

" May blessing attend you and your 
family, through Jesus Christ our Lord. I have 
written this letter on the day that my body is 
completely destroyed with sickness. I am con- 
vinced of the near approach of death, for I per- 
ceive that my illness is very great. The 11th 
of November is the day on which I write : I 
write with great difficulty, for my eyes are now 
dim in death. My compassion for my family is 
very great ; I therefore write in death to you, 
my dear friend, about my family. We do not 
belong to Raiatea, neither myself nor my wife ; 
we both belong to Tahiti ; but from love to the 
word of God, and attachment to you, our teacher, 
we have forsaken our lands, and now I am about 
to die. It is death that terminates our close 
connexion. This is what I have to say to you, 
my dear friend, about my family ; do not let 
them remain at Raiatea ; take them to Tahiti, 
in your own large boat ; convey them there your- 
self; let no one else. They belong to Papeete : 
there are their parents and their land. My 
perplexity is very great, occasioned by my dear 
family crying and grieving around me. They 



say, ' Who will convey us back to our lands V 
I refer them to you ; replying, Mr. Williams is 
our friend.' We miss you very much in my ill- 
ness, and grieve greatly at your absence. Now, 
my dear friend, let me entreat you not to forget 
my dying request. Do not follow the custom of 
my countrymen, and say, when I am gone, ' Oh, 
it is only the command of a corpse.' This is 
what they say, and then seize his little property. 
I have been endeavouring to lengthen out my 
breath to see you again, but I cannot ; my hour 
is come, when God will take me to himself, and 
I cannot resist his will. Perhaps this is the 
time the Lord has appointed for me. And now, 
my dear friend, the great kindness you have 
shown me is at an end ; your face will not see 
my face again in the flesh you and I are se- 
parated. Dear friend, I am going now to the 
place we all so ardently desire. 

" May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be 
with you and your family '. 

" Tuahine. 
" P.S. Take care of my family " 

His loss was very severely felt, for the affairs 
of the state began to get into confusion soon 
after his death. His colleague, on whom the 
charge of the mission devolved, although a sen- 
sible man, was not equal to the greatness of the 
work, which he himself, with much Christian 
simplicity, confesses in the following letter : 

" Raiatea, March, Ylth, 1828. 
Dear friend Mr. Williams, 

" May the blessing of God and the grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. This is my 
communication. Where are you 1 What are 
you doing? Is it well with you? Are you 
dead 1 Alas, how long it is since our eyes saw 
each other's features ! Tuahine is dead. He 
will never see your face again : perhaps that 
alsc may be the case with me. He died in 

" We have had visits from Mr. Barfi* and Mr. 
Piatt. Mr. Pritchard is now with us, and we 
like him very much. Ten families have joined 
us lately : they were previously living almost 
like heathens. Mr. Barff has baptized them. 
Only two members of our church have acted 
inconsistently since you left. 

"Dear friend, the work of a minister in super- 
intending a church is a great work ; it is more 
than I can carry; it is also a fearful work. I 
am as a presumptuous child, who, with his 
parent by his side, thinks himself great and 
clever, but, when unsupported by his parent, 
learns his deficiency. It is well said by our Lord, 
that the disciple is not wiser than his teacher. 

" Dear friend, I am anxiously desiring your 
return, for I have expended all my little stock 
of knowledge ; and, as you are aware, I have a 
people to instruct who are as wise as myself; 
they generally, however, express themselves 
pleased with my addresses 

" Do not come in the vessel you are building, 
lest Mrs. Williams and the children should be 
drowned in the sea. Hasten home, as we 
expect our brethren and friends from Huahine 
to be present at our missionary meeting in May. 

" Your premises are overgrown with weeds ; 
your large boat is being eaten by the worms, 
and your cattle are running wild ; for the people 
whom you left in charge of them are neglectful. 
I thought it best to tell you all this, that you 
may not be surprised on your arrival. 

" Blessing on you through Jesus ! 

" Uaeva." 

We continued at Rarotonga about a month 
after the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Buzacott, and 
spent that time in strengthening our vessel with 
iron, supplied by Mr. B.; in erecting his new 
house ; teaching him the language, and com- 
municating important information relative to the 
mission. It was a matter of deep regret to cur 

The Messenger of Peace, as she appeared when leaving Rarotonga for Tahi'.i. 



beloved friends, that we were compelled to 
leave them so soon. 

The king, who intended to accompany us to 
Raiatea, gave instructions to his people for the 
regulation of their conduct during his absence ; 
made the necessary arrangements with his chiefs, 
and nominated a Regpnt to act for him till he 
should return. Every thing being prepared, 
and having resided twelve months at this im- 
portant station, during the most critical period 
of its history, we took an affectionate leave of 
our beloved coadjutors and their kind people, 
truly thankful that, on being relieved from this 
heavy charge, I was resigning it into the hands 
of brethren so well qualified to fulfil its duties. 
The inhabitants of this lovely spot evinced con- 
siderable feeling at the prospect of losing us. 
For more than a month prior to our departure, 
little groups would collect in the cool of the 
evening, and, when sitting around the trunk of 
some tree of gigantic growth, or beneath the shade 
of a stately banana, would sing in plaintive tones 
the stanzas they had composed to express their 
sorrow at our anticipated separation. On the 
evening of our departure several thousands ac- 
companied us to the beach ; and, as the boat 
left the shore, they sang with one voice, and we 
think we may add, with one heart, 

Kia ova e Tama ma 

I te aerenga i te moana e ! 

" Blessing on you, beloved friends ; blessing 
on you in journeying on the deep." This they 
repeated at very short intervals, the sounds 
becoming fainter and fainter as we proceeded, 
until they were lost in the distance. The 
effect was so overpowering that not a person in 
the boat could refrain from weeping. 

The Rarotongans improved much in every 
respect during our residence among them. The 
females were completely transformed in their 
appearance, for, although both the teachers were 
single men, they had taught them to make 
bonnets; but I must add, that their taste in 
forming the shape did not admit of equal com- 
mendation with their desire to raise the character 
and promote the comfort of the female sex. 
These deficiencies, however, were supplied by 
Mrs. Pitman and Mrs. Williams, who made 
some hundreds of bonnets, and rendered many 
of the natives proficients in the art. They made 
also, for the chiefs' wives, European garments, 
and instructed them to use the needle, with 
which they were much delighted. Besides this, 
they met, almost daily, the different classes of 
females, to impart to them religious and other 
instruction. By myself, the men were taught 
various useful arts, such as to work at the forge, 
to erect better houses, and to make articles of 
furniture ; in which they have since far excelled 
their neighbours. At Mr. Pitman's station, 
I constructed a turning-lathe, and the first 
thing I turned was the leg of a sofa, with which 
the chief to whom it belonged was so much 
delighted that he strung it round his neck, and 
walked up and down the settlement, exhibiting 
it to the admiration of the astonished inhabitants, 
many of whom exclaimed, that, if they had 
possessed it prior to the renunciation of idolatry, 
it would certainly have been an object of worship, 
and have taken the precedence of all their other 
idols. We made a sugar-mill* for them, and 
taught them to boil sugar. 

As the people, before our arrival had de- 
stroyed all the cocoa-nut trees, from which they 
might have procured oil, and having no other 

article of commerce, we entertained a pleasing 
hope that the manufacture of cordage and rope, 
from the hibiscus bark, might become a valuable 
substitute. With this view I constructed a rope - 
machine, taught them the art of rope-making, 
and encouraged them to prepare a great quantity, 
some of which was sent to New South Wides, 

in the expectation of finding a market for it ; 
but we did not succeed according to our antici- 
pations, and the Rarotongans are still destitute 
of the means of exchange for European com- 

* This was the seventh I had made, having constructed 
one upon the same principle for most of our native Mission- 
ary stations. 



mod flies- At my own station, also, being 
desirous of adding to the few articles which the 
natives were able to ofi'er in exchange for 
European manufactures, I hired a person, at 
very considerable expense, to teach me the art 
of growing and preparing tobacco. 
Having obtained this information, we induced 
the natives to plant about a hundred and fifty 
acres, and made the necessary apparatus for 
pressing, &c, and, as a vessel was sailing at this 
time for New South Wales, I wrote to inform 
our undeviating friend, the Rev. S. Marsden, of 
our proceedings. Delighted with the informa- 
tion, he inserted my letter in the Sydney Ga- 
zette. Some narrow-minded merchants im- 
mediately took the alarm, and tormented the 
governor, until a prohibitory duty of 4s. per lb. 
was imposed upon tobacco from the South Sea 
Islands. Thus our expense and labour were 
lost. It appeared to me to derogate from the 
dignity of a great nation, thus to crush the ener- 
gies of an infant people. 

Both Mr. Pitman and myself were constant 
in our attendance at the schools, but, having no 
books in their dialect, the natives could make 
very little progress ; and, although they dili- 
gently attended the means of grace, there were 
but few who gave evidences of a change of 
heart. Much knowledge, however, was im- 
parted, and a foundation laid on which the two 
excellent and devoted Missionaries, who occupy 
these stations, have since been honoured to 
raise an elevated and spiritual superstructure. 

We never reflect upon our voyage from Raro- 
tonga without feeling our obligations to a kind 
and protecting Providence. It will be readily 
conceived, that a vessel built under the circum- 
stances I have described, very insufficiently fas- 
tened with iron, caulked with the bark, and 
covered partly with lime, and partly with gum 
from the bread-fruit tree, instead of pitch, was 
not calculated to sustain the buffethigs of many 
storms. But, although it blows from the E. 
almost continually in those latitudes, we were 
favoured, during our voyage of 800 miles, with 
a fair wind, Avhich was so light as to appear 
almost sensible that it was filling sails which 
could not endure its fury, while the sea was so 
smooth that it seemed as if reserving its power 
for some bark better fitted to withstand it ; or, 
rather, we felt that He who said to the winds 
and waves, " Be still," continued to care for 
his disciples. We arrived off Papeete harbour, 
at Tahiti, during the night, and in the morning 
the crews of the ships at anchor, and the friends 
on shore, observed, literally, "a strange sail" 
at sea. Some took us for South American 
patriots, others for pirates, and others could not 
tell " what to make of us." As soon as we 
entered the harbour the officers of the vessels 
lying there, and our friends from the shore, 
hastened on board, to see the prodigy, and 
expressed not a little astonishment at every part 
of the ship, but especially at the rudder-irons. 
From Mr. and Mrs. Pritchard we received a 
cordial welcome. After introducing Makea to 
the Missionaries and authorities of the 
island, and recruiting our strength, in a few days 

we departed for Raiatea, where we arrived, the 
26th of April, 1828, having been absent exactly 
twelve months. On landing I was thus greeted 
by the people : " How good it is you are come ! 
now our troubles will be at an end! what should 
we have done had you stayed away much 
longer 1" I was at a loss to divine the import of 
these exclamations, till I was informed that a 
serious disagreement had arisen between Ta- 
matoa and the principal chiefs of the island. 
In a few days, however, these differences were 
settled, and we prepared for our Missionary 
meeting ; at which from two to three thousand 
persons assembled, many of whom had come 
from Huahine and Tahaa ; with the noble chief, 
also, from Rarotonga, whose presence, together 
with the exhibition of the rejected idols of his 
people, added much to the interest of the oc- 
casion. This was the third time we had enjoyed 
the privilege of exhibiting to the Raiateans the 
abandoned idols of other islands. Many suit- 
able addresses were then delivered; and all 
present seemed delighted. 

Makea, during his stay at the Society Islands, 
visited Huahine, Tahaa, and Porapora, the 
chiefs and people of which showed him kind 
attentions, and made him valuable presents. 
With these, after about two months' residence 
with us, we sent him home, where he arrived 
in safety, and was cordially welcomed by the 
Missionaries and his people. 


Payieiha's Narrative Ideas of the People on seeing him 
Read Arrival of his Colleague Arrangements for 
Increased Exertion The Success which attended their 
Efforts Ludicrous Incidents with a Cat First Place 
of Worship erected War with the Heathens The en- 
tire Subversion of Idolatry at Rarotonga War at Raia- 
tea Accusations of Professor Lee. 

During our stay at Rarotonga, I obtained a 
minute and interesting account from Papeiha, 
of the circumstances which occurred from his 
first landing to the time of our arrival, a brief 
abstract of which I shall present to the reader. 
On reaching the shore, he was conducted to the 
house of old Makea, the father of the present 
chief of that name. An immense crowd fol- 
lowed him, one of whom was saying, " I'll have 
his hat;" another, "I'll have his jacket;" a 
third, " I'll have his shirt ;" but they did not 
carry their threats into execution : for the chief 
called out, " Speak to us, O man, that we may 
know the business on which you are come." 
Papeiha replied, that he had come to instruct 
them in the knowledge of the true God, and 
the way of eternal salvation through his Son 
Jesus Christ, in order that they, like the inha- 
bitants of Tahiti, the Society, and other islands, 
might burn the idols of wood, of cloth, and of 
birds' feathers, which they had made and called 
gods. Immediately there burst from the multi- 
tude an exclamation of surprise and horror ; 
" What ! burn the gods ! what gods shall we 
then have, and what shall we do without the 
gods 1" 



The teacher and his party commenced family 
worship morning and evening, at which many 
persons attended ; and, after the first Sabbath- 
day services, about twenty joined them, among 
whom was Davida, the eldest son of the present 
king, who has continued steadfast, and is now 
rendering essential service to the mission, as 
superintendent of Mr. Buzacott's schools, and 
leader of the singing. Frequently has Papeiha 
showed me the stone from whi:h, overshadowed 
by a grove of banana-trees, he delivered his 
first address to the wondering inhabitants of 

Shortly after this, Tinomana, the chief of 
Arorangi, a district about eight miles from Pa- 
peiha's residence, sent for him, and expressed 
a wish to know something about Jehovah and 
Jesus Christ. This chief, with the whole of 
the people of his district, were living in the 
mountains, where Tinomana himself was born. 
As this was the weakest district of the three, 
its inhabitants were subject to peculiar oppres- 
sion from their more powerful neighbours, who 
plundered them of their food and property with 
impunity. When a sacrifice was required, they 
would invariably seek it from this oppressed 
people ; and so great was their danger, that, 
when they wanted fish, they were obliged to 
steal down to the sea in the dead of the night, 
and return before day-break, to avoid being 
plundered or murdered by parties from the 
other districts. Papeiha, after having explained 
the leading doctrines of the Gospel to this 
chieftaiu, very judiciously pointed out to him 
the advantages which he would derive from the 
reception of Christianity ; and showed, that by 
this means, peace and good-will would so reign 
through the land, that he would no longer be 
compelled to live in the mountains, but might 
take up his abode near the sea, and, with his 
people, enjoy his possessions as securely as the 
inhabitants of the victorious districts. The 
chief was considerably impressed with these 
representations ; and, after meditating for some 
hours upon what he had heard, he came to 
Papeiha, and said, that he felt greatly disposed 
to burn his gods, but was afraid, " lest they 
should be enraged, and strangle him in the 
night." The teacher assured him that he had 
nothing to apprehend, as they were destitute of 
any real power. In the evening Papeiha and 
his party engaged in prayer, when many of the 
people of the district united with them, and for 
the first time since the island had been inha- 
bited, bowed their knees to the God of Heaven, 
and listened to the voice of devotion. 

"When Papeiha had spread his mat, and laid 
himself down to rest, Tinomana brought his, 
and, having placed it by his side, told him that 
he came to be taught to pray to Jehovah. De- 
lighted with the request, Papeiha comm inced a 
short prayer, which the chief repeated after 
him ; but overcome with fatigue he dropped off 
to sleep. He had, however, scarcely closed his 
eyes, when the anxious chief awoke him, sayiag, 
" I've forgotten it ; go over it again." After 
causing him to repeat it many times, once more 
he fell asleep, and again was awoke. This was 

repeated frequently through the night. In the 
morning, Papeiha returned home, and Tinomana 
accompanied him part of the distance, reciting, 
during the journey, the prayer which he had 
learned. On taking his leave, he informed the 
teacher that he was much delighted with what 
he had heard ; and that he would go home and 
think seriously upon the subject ; for, as it was 
a matter of great importance, it was not well to 
be in haste. 

Papeiha had not long returned, when another 
opportunity was afforded him for bearing his 
testimony to the truth, in the presence of a 
multitude of heathen, on the very spot where 
" Satan's seat was." The people were assem- 
bled at a marae, offering great quantities of 
food to the gods. Many priests, pretending to 
be inspired, were shouting and vociferating, 
with all the wildness of heathen frenzy, sur- 
rounded by worshippers who presented a strange 
and ludicrous appearance. Some had one side 
of their face and body blackened with charcoal ; 
others were painted with stripes of all the 
colours they could procure ; while many were 
dressed as warriors, with large caps, adorned 
with white cowrie-shells and birds' feathers. 
Our intrepid friend pressed into the midst of 
the assembly, and commenced addressing them 
on the folly of offering such quantities of food 
to a piece of wood which they had carved, and 
decorated, and called a god. Upon this, a 
priest stood up and affirmed that theirs was a 
real god, that he was a powerful god, and that 
the feast they were celebrating was very sacred. 
Papeiha told them that the day was not far dis- 
tant when the true God Jehovah would show 
them the folly of their practices, and would 
make the gods they now worshipped " fuel for 
the fire." On hearing this declaration there 
was great confusion, but they listened very 
attentively while he described the love of God 
in giving his Son to die for sinners. After 
Papeiha had ceased, the people asked him 
many questions, one of which was, " Where 
does your God livel" He replied, that heaven 
was his dwelling-place, but that he filled both 
the heavens and the earth with his presence. 
" We cannot see him," they rejoined, " but ours 
are here before our eyes, and, if the earth was 
full of your God, surely he would be big enough 
to be seen.'' "And should Ave not run against 
him'?" exclaimed another. To all this Papeiha 
made answer, "that the earth was full of air, 
but we did not run against it ; that we were 
surrounded by light, but it did not impede our 
progress." This conversation terminated, how- 
ever, without adding to the number of converts ; 
but the teacher had the satisfaction of knowing 
that he had borne a faithful testimony to the 
truth, and that many had heard, for the first 
time in their lives, of salvation by the blood of 
Jesus Christ. 

As Papeiha carried his Testament with him, 
it frequently elicited curious remarks. While 
walking about the settlement, the people would 
say, " There ! there's the god of that man ! 
what a strange god it is, he carries it about 
with him, but we leave ours at the marae." 



When they saw him reading, they would say 
that he and his God were talking together. 

Five months had elapsed when Papeihr. was 
cheered by the arrival of his associate Tiberio. 
Although the labours of Papeiha had been un- 
remitting, and the converts by no means nume- 
rous, he was not discouraged ; and now that 
he was animated by the presence, and aided by 
the co-operation, of a colleague, it was deter- 
mined that himself and his associate should 
employ all their energies for the accomplish- 
ment of their object, and, undeterred by threats 
or danger, should go on any occasion to any 
part of the island where it was probable that 
success might reward their efforts. With this 
view they resolved, in the first instance, to visit 
all the influential chiefs, and explain to them 
the principles of Christum truth, pointing out, 
not only the spiritual but the temporal advan- 
tages which would accrue from the renunciation 
of idolatry. While carrying their resolution 
into effect, at some places they were kindly 
treated, but at others they were ridiculed, and 
from one or two they narrowly escaped with 
their lives. 

A few dajs after their return to the station, a 
priest came to the teachers, and expressed 
his determination to burn his idol, and had 
brought his eldest son, a boy about ten years of 
age, to place under their care, lest the gods, in 
their anger, should destroy him. Leaving the 
child with the teachers, he returned home, and 
early the next morning came bending under the 
weight of the cumbrous god he was bringing to 
be burned. A crowd followed him, calling him 
a madman ; but he persisted in his determina- 
tion to embrace the word of Jehovah, and 
declared that he was unconcerned about the 
result. He then threw his idol at the feet of 
the teachers, one of whom fetched his saw to 
cut it up ; but, as soon as the people observed 
the saw applied to the head of the god, they all 
took fright and ran away. Many even of their 
converts were seized with the panic, and hid 
themselves among the bushes. After a short 
time they returned ; and in the presence of an 
immense crowd, the first rejected idol of Raro- 
tonga was committed to the flames. 

In order to convince the people of the utter 
futility of their fears, when the idol was reduced 
to ashes the teachers roasted some bananas 
upon them, of which they ate themselves, and 
invited others to partake. No one, however, 
had courage to admit so dangerous a morsel 
into their mouths, and waited, with no small 
anxiety, to witness the result of the teachers' 
temerity ; but, like the inhabitants of Melita, 
" after they had looked a great while, and saw 
no harm come to them, they changed their 
minds," and said theirs was the truth. The 
crowd of spectators returned with feelings so 
different from those with which they assembled, 
that in less than ten days after this event not 
fewer than fourteen idols were destroyed. Im- 
mediately afterwards Tinomana, the conquered 
chief, sent for the teachers, and on their arrival 
at his residence in the mountains, he informed 
them that, after much deliberation, he had 

determined to embrace Christianity and to place 
himself under their instructions, and therefore 
wished to know what was the first step to the 
reception of truth. The teachers informed him 
that he must destroy his maraes and burn his 
idols, to which he instantly replied, " Come 
with me and see them destroyed." On reach- 
ing the place he desired some person to take a 
fire-brand, and set fire to the temple, the atarau, 
or altar, and the units, or sacred pieces of carved 
wood by which the marae was decorated. Four 
great idols were then brought and laid at the 
teachers' feet, who, having read a portion of the 
tenth chapter of the gospel of St. Luke, which 
was peculiarly appropriate, especially from the 
seventeenth to the twentieth verses, disrobed 
them of the cloth in which they were enveloped, 
distributed it among the people, and threw the 
wood to the flames. Thus were the inhabitants 
of this district delivered from the reign of 
superstition and ignorance under which they 
had so long groaned. Some of the people were 
much enraged with the chief, and were very 
violent in the expression of their feelings, call- 
ing him a fool and a madman for burning his 
gods and listening to worthless fellows, who 
" were drift-wood from the sea, washed on shore 
by the waves of the ocean." The grief of the 
women was excessively frantic, and their 
lamentations loud and doleful. Many of them 
inflicted deep gashes on their heads with sharp 
shells and sharks' teeth, and ran about, smeared 
with the blood which streamed from the 
wounds, crying in tones of the deepest melan- 
choly, "Alas! alas! the gods of the madman 
Tinomana, the gods of the insane chief, are 
given to the flames !" Others, blackened with 
charcoal, joined in their lamentations. In the 
course of a few days all the idols in the district 
were brought to the teachers : some of these 
were destroyed, but the others they determined 
to send to Raiatea. On the following Saturday 
they left Tinomana, advising him and the other 
converts to have their food prepared for the 
next day, and to attend worship at the station. 
They did as they were requested, but came com- 
pletely accoutred, as for an engagement, with 
war-caps, slings, and spears, fearing lest the 
enraged Satanees* should attack them. They 
were not however, molested either in coming 
or returning. From this time the destruction 
of the ensigns of idolatry proceeded rapidly 
throughout the island. During the next week 
Pa, the principal chief of the victorious party, 
sent for Papeiha and Tiberio, and on their 
arrival expressed his determination to embrace 
the truth. In the evening, while sitting in the 
house, their attention was attracted by a singular 
noise, which proved to be the yelling of a 
person who pretended to be inspired, and who, 
like the heathens of old, endeavoured to support 
his pretensions by distorting his features and 
speaking in an unnatural tone. Approaching 
the dwelling, he vociferated, " Pa, Pa, give me 
those two men! Why do you preserve two 
rotton sticks driven on shore by the waves! 
why do you listen to the froth of the sea 1 I am 
A name by which the idolaters were designated. 



great Tangaroa : give them to me, and 1*11 eat 
them !" the teachers proposed to each other 
to joke with this gentleman, and as he entered 
the house, to take out their knives, and demand 
that they should be allowed to make an incision 
and search for the great god Tangaroa, who, he 
said, was within him, as it would be gratifying 
to all parties to see this extraordinary person- 
age. The chief heard the conversation, and 
warned the priest not to enter, as the teachers 
were ready with their knives to cut him open 
and search for Tangaroa. On hearing this he 
scampered away with far less pomp than he 
came, and they heard no more of him. 

The teachers, after an absence of about a 
week, during which they had witnessed the 
demolition of several maraes, returned, accom- 
panied by the first-born of every chief who had 
destroyed his idols. 

At this time a ludicrous circumstance oc- 
curred, which will illustrate the ignorance and 
superstition of this people. A favourite cat had 
been taken on shore by one of the teachers' 
wives on our first visit, and, not liking his new 
companions, Tom fled to the mountains. The 
house of the priest Tiaki, who had just de- 
stroyed his idol, was situated at a distance from 
the settlement ; and at midnight, while he was 
lying asleep on his mat, his wife, who was 
sitting awake by his side, musing upon the 
strange events of the day, beheld with conster- 
nation two fires glistening in the doorway, and 
heard with surprise a mysterious voice. Almost 
petrified with fear, she awoke her husband, and 
began to upbraid him with his folly for burning 
his god, who, she declared, was now come to 
be avenged of them. " Get up and pray, get 
up and pray !" she cried. The husband arose, 
and, on opening his eyes, beheld the same 
glaring lights and heard the same ominous 
sound. Impelled by the extreme urgency of 
the case, he commenced, with all possible 
vehemence, vociferating the alphabet, as a 
prayer to God to deliver them from the ven- 
geance of Satan. On hearing this, the cat as 
much alarmed as the priest and his wife, of 
whose nocturnal peace he had heen the un- 
conscious disturber, ran away, leaving the poor 
people congratulating themselves on the efficacy 
of their prayer. 

On a subsequent occasion puss, in his peram- 
bulations, went to the district of the Satcmees ; 
and, as the marae stood in a retired spot and 
was shaded by the rich foliage of trees of ancient 
growth, Tom, pleased with the situation, and 
wishing to be found in good company, took up 
his abode with the gods ; and, not meeting with 
any opposition from those within the house, he 
little expected any from those without. Some 
few days after, however, the priest came, accom- 
panied by a number of worshippers, to present 
some offerings to the god, and, on opening the 
door, Tom very respectfully greeted him with 
a mew. Unaccustomed to such salutations, 
instead of returning it he rushed back with 
terror, shouting to his companions, " Here's 
a monster from the deep, here's a monster 
from the deep!" Upon this the whole party 

hastened home, collected several hundreds of 
their companions, put on their war-caps, brought 
their spears, clubs, and slings, blackened them- 
selves with charcoal, and thus equipped came 
shouting to attack " poor puss." Affrighted at 
this formidable array of war, Tom immediately 
sprang towards the opened door, and darted 
through the terror-stricken warriors, who fled 
with the greatest precipitation in all directions. 
In the evening these brave conspirators 
against the life of a cat were entertaining them- 
selves and a numerous company of spectators 
with a dance, when Tom, wishing to see the 
sport, and bearing no malice, came to take a 
peep. No sooner did he present himself than 
the terrified company fled in consternation ; 
and the heroic warriors of the district again 
armed themselves, and gave chase to this unfor- 
tunate cat. But the "monster of the deep," 
being too nimble for them, again escaped their 
vengeance. Some hours after, when all was 
quiet, Tom, being disturbed in his residence 
with the gods, determined unwisely to renew his 
acquaintance with men ; and in the dead of the 
night he returned to the house, and crept be- 
neath a coverlet under which a whole family was 
lying, and there fell asleep. Unfortunately, his 
purring awoke the man under whose cloth he 
had crawled, who, supposing that some other 
"monster" had come to disturb them, closed the 
doorway, awoke the people of the house, and 
procured lights to search for the intruder. Poor 
Torn, fatigued with the two previous engage- 
ments of the day, lay quietly asleep, when the 
warriors, with their clubs and spears, attacked 
him most valiantly, and thought themselves sin- 
gularly brave in putting an end to this formid- 
able "monster" 

The king, Makea, was among the last chiefs 
of importance who renounced idolatry. The 
object of his adoration was a goddess, the great 
Rangatira ; and the idolaters manifested deter- 
mined opposition to the destruction of this idol 
and the burning of their marae. That, however, 
was effected by the party to whom it belonged ; 
and thus the reign of idolatry, although very 
many still retained their idols and superstitions, 
was virtually terminated at Rarotonga. 

The teachers then recommenced the erection 
of a place of worship, which being agreed to, 
the greater part of the inhabitants assembled, 
most of whom came to the work thoroughly 
equipped for war.* The site selected for the 
building was thickly covered with trees, and, as 
there were but four or fiye axes in the island, the 
clearing it was a great work. All, however, ap- 
peared anxious to assist, and although their tools 
were rude, some using large shells, and others 
stone axes, yet, as the people were numerous, 
the work was soon effected. When the first 
post was fixed, Makea, who had prepared a great 

* It must be recollected, that the inhabitants of the 
different districts of this island were always in a state of 
hostility, and never, on any occasion, met unarmed; 
that there had not yet been sufficient time foi the prin- 
ciples of Christianity to pioduce mutual confidence 
amongst its professors ; and that numbers were still 



quantity of food to be apportioned to the various 
districts, desired Tinomana to implore a blessing ; 
and, in order that all present might see and hear, 
he climbed a tree, and in that conspicuous situ- 
ation offered up a sensible prayer. The shape 
of the building, the burning of the lime, and the 
plastering of the house, excited feelings, and 
drew forth expressions similar to those elicited 
at Aitutaki. 

Those who still remained heathen were con- 
tinually offering provocation to the Christians, 
who, by not resenting their conduct, subjected 
themselves to still greater annoyance, and one 
of them, while passing through their district to 
his own, was most severely beaten, and had one 
of his ears torn nearly off. This led to a conflict 
between the parties, in which the Christians 
conquered. The victors then, as the custom was, 
led the captives by their long hair down to the 
sea-side, not however as formerly, to put them 
to death, and feast upon their bodies, but to pre- 
sent them to the chiefs ; who, instead of order- 
ing them to be injured, advised them to embrace 
this good religion, by which their differences 
would be terminated, and the reign of harmony 
and happiness established. To this they replied, 
that, as they were now convinced of the supe- 
rior power of Jehovah, and had indubitable 
proof of the merciful character of this new religion 
by their lives being spared, they would at once 
unite with their countrymen in the worship of 
the only true God. The following day, they 
demolished all the maraes, and brought their 
rejected idols to the teachers. Thus terminated 
the war, and, with it, the whole system of idol- 
atry in Rarotonga. 

A portion of land in the Christian settlement 
was then allotted to each individual, and many 
of them erected a dwelling there, and became 
and still continue among the most active, consist- 
ent, and devoted Christians. * 

It is a very remarkable fact, that in no island 
of importance has Christianity been introduced 
without a war ; but it is right to observe that, 
in every instance, the heathens have been the 
aggressors. It was so both at Tahiti and Raia- 
tea. And as there were many circumstances 
connected with the memorable battle between 
the Christian and heathen parties at the latter 
place, in which the interposition of a Divine 
power was most conspicuous, and which led to 
the entire subversion of idolatry in that and the 
neighbouring island, I shall take this opportu- 
nity of recording them. Tamatoa, with most of 
the chiefs of the Society Islands, attended by a 
large company of warriors, had gone to Tahiti 
to assist in reinstating Pomare in his govern- 
ment ; and, when thus convened, the great work 
of conversion commenced at that island ! Hav- 
ing been brought under its influence, the chiefs, 
with their warriors, returned to their respective 
islands, not conveying back the mangled bodies 
of the victims slain in battle, to offer to the gods 

* In giving the foregoing account of the overthrow of 
idolatry in the island of llarotonga, my readers will not 
conclude that I approve of every measure the.teachers 
adopted. All I have dune is faithfully to narrate the 

No. 4. 

whose protection they had invoked, but the Gos- 
pel of peace. Upon the arrival of Tamatoa and 
his followers at Opoa, the place " where Satan's 
seat was" at Raiatea. a multitude was assembled 
on the sea-beach to greet them, while the priests 
were running to and fro, vociferating a welcome 
in the name of the gods, and expressing a hope 
that they had returned laden with victims. As 
the chief's canoe approached the shore, a herald 
was commanded to stand upon an elevated 
platform, who shouted in reply, " There are no 
victims ; we are all praying people, and have 
become worshippers of Jehovah, the true God ;" 
and, holding up the elementary books which the 
Missionaries had written for them, as they had 
no printing-press at that time, he cried, " These 
are the victims these are the trophies with 
which we have returned!" Soon after the ar- 
rival of Tamatoa and his party, a meeting was 
convened, when the inhabitants of Raiatea were 
informed of what had taken place at Tahiti, and 
of the conversion of their friends to the Chris- 
tian religion. They Avere then invited to follow 
their example. About a third of the people 
agreed to the proposition. Shortly after this, 
Tamatoa was taken exceedingly ill, and, every 
effort to restore hirn to health having failed, it 
was proposed by one of the Christians to destroy 
Oro, the great national idol, and set fire to the 
marae, suggesting that perhaps Jehovah was 
angry with them for not having done this before. 
After a consultation upon the proposition, it was 
agreed that a party should go and carry it into 
effect. Summoning all their courage, these pro- 
ceeded to the great marae at Opoa, took Oro 
from his seat, tore off his robes, and set fire to 
the sacred house. The heathen party were so 
exasperated at this circumstance, that they de- 
termined to make war upon the Christians, and 
put them all to death. For this purpose, they 
invited the chief of Tahaa to come over with his 
army, and assist them in effecting their object. 
The more effectually to accomplish their design, 
they erected a house, which they encircled with 
the trunks of cocoa-nut and bread-fruit trees, 
into which they resolved to thrust the Christians, 
and then to set it on fire, and burn them alive. 
Terrified at these and other frightful prepara- 
tions, Tamatoa sent frequent overtures of peace ; 
but the invariable reply was, " There is no peace 
for god-burneis, until they have felt the effects 
of the fire with which they destroyed Oro." As 
a last resource, the chief sent his favourite 
daughter ; and, a small shower of rain happen- 
ing to descend just as she entered the camp, a 
priestess of Toimata, the daughter of Oro, com- 
menced singing the following stanza : 

"Thickly, thickly falls the small rain from the skies; 
Tis the afflicted Toimata weeping fur her sire." 

This roused the spirit of the people to such a 
pitch, that the heathens shouted simultaneously, 
" There is no peace to be made with god-burners 
until they have felt the effects of the fire with 
which they destroyed Oro," and determined to 
make the attack on the following day. The 
night was a sleepless one with both parties ; for 
the heathens were employed in listening to the 




vociferations of their priests, in feasting, rioting 
and exulting in the anticipated triumphs of the 
coming day; while the Christians spent the 
hours in prayer, and in raising an embankment 
of stones, behind which to defend themselves as 
long as possible. Early the next morning the 
heathen party, with ayingbanners, the shout of the 
warriors, and the sound of the trumpet-shell, bore 
down in an imposing attitude upon the affrighted 
Christians ; while they, on their bended knees, 
were supplicating the protection of God against 
the fury of their enemies, whose numbers, whose 
frightful preparations and superstitious madness, 
rendered them peculiarly formidable. A long 
shoal of sand stretched from the shore of the 
Christian encampment ; in consequence of which 
the heathen party were compelled to land at a 
distance of half a mile from the spot. Before 
they arrived at the place of disembarkation, one 
of the Christians, formerly a noted warrior, said 
to the chief, " Allow me to select all our effective 
men, and make an attack upon the heathens, 
while in the confusion of landing. A panic may 
seize them, and God may work a deliverance 
for us." The proposition was agreed to ; but 
the chief himself said, " Before you go, let us 
unite in prayer." Men, women, and children, 
then knelt down outside their stone embank- 
ment, and the king implored the God of Jacob 
to cover their head in the day of battle ; and on 
concluding, thus addressed this little band of 
faithful followers : " Now go, and may the pre- 
sence of Jesus go with you!" Taking a circui- 
tous route behind the brushwood, until he arrived 
opposite to the place where the heathens were 
landing, the commander extended his little army 
as far as it would reach, and gave strict orders 
that no noise should be made until they were 
emerging from the bushes. The arrangement 
proved most successful. The heathens were 
seized with consternation, and, after a short re- 
sistance, threw away their arms, and fled for their 
lives ; for they expected to have met with barba- 
rous treatment, similar to that which they would 
have inflicted had they been the conqueror. 
But, perceiving that no injury was sustained by 
those of their brethren who fell into the hands 
of the Christians, they peeped from behind the 
bushes, or shouted from the trees in which they 
had taken refuge, " Here am I ; spare my life, 
by Jesus, your new God." The remainder of 
the day was spent by the Christians in conduct- 
ing their prisoners into the presence of the chief, 
who remained for several hours upon the very 
spot where in the morning he commended his 
little band to the protection of God. A herald 
stood by his side, and shouted, as the fugitives 
approached, " Welcome, welcome ; you are saved 
by Jesus, and the influence of the religion of 
mercy which we have embraced 1 ." When the 
chief of Tahaa, who led the heathen, was taken, 
and conducted, pale and trembling, into the pre- 
sence of Tamatoa, he exclaimed, "Am I deadl" 
His fears, however, were immediately dissipated 
by his brother chieftain, who replied, " No, bro- 
ther ; cease to tremble ; you are saved by Jesus." 
A feast was immediately prepared for the pri- 
soners, when nearly a hundred large pigs were 

baked whole with a proportionate quantity of 
bread-fruit and other vegetables. The heathen 
sat down to eat, but few could swallow their 
food, being overwhelmed by the astonishing 
ev ents of the day. While they were thus seated 
one of the party arose, and said, " This is my 
little speech : Let every one be allowed to fol- 
low his own inclination; for my part, I will 
never again, to the day of my death, worship the 
gods who could not protect us in the hour of 
danger! We were four times the number of 
the praying people, yet they have conquered us 
with the greatest ease. Jehovah is the true 
God. Had we conquered them, they would, at 
this moment, have been burning in the house 
we made strong for the purpose ! but instead of 
injuring us, or our wives, or our children, they 
have prepared for us this sumptuous feast. Theirs 
is a religion of mercy. I will go and unite my- 
self to this people." This declaration was lis- 
tened to with so much delight, and similar sen- 
timents were so universal, that every one of the 
heathen party bowed their knees that very night, 
for the first time, in prayer to Jehovah, and 
united with the Christians in returning thanks 
to Him for the victory he had on that anxious 
day so graciously afforded them. On the follow- 
ing morning, after prayer, both Christians and 
heathens issued forth and demolished every 
marae in Tahaa and ^aiatea ; so that, in three 
days after this memorable battle, not a vestige 
of idol worship remained in either of those is- 
lands ! All this will acquire additional interest 
in the reader's estimation when he is informed, 
that it took place solely under the superintend- 
ence of the natives themselves, for at that time 
there was no Missionary at either of the islands. 
And here I would notice an assertion of Pro- 
fessor Lee, who ascribes the progress of Chris- 
tianity in the South Sea Islands to the aid it 
derived from the civil power.* Now this state- 
ment is not founded in truth. Having wit- 
nessed the introduction of Christianity into a 
greater number of islands than any other Mis- 
sionary, I can safely affirm, that in no single 
instance has the civil power been employed in 
its propagation. It is true that the moral 
influence of the chiefs has, in many instances, 
been most beneficially exerted in behalf of 
Christianity ; but never, to my knowledge, have 
they employed coercion to induce their subjects 
to embrace it. And I feel satisfied, that in 
few cases has the beautiful prediction been more 
strikingly accomplished " And kings shall be 
thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing 
mothers." Had the Missionaries desired the 
exercise of that power, the chiefs "vere not in a 
condition to gratify them ; for they had to 
defend themselves against the fury of a large 
portion of their own subjects, by whom they 
were so fiercely attacked.f I am, moreover, 
happy, in being able to contradict the assertion 
of Dr. Lee, because, were it true, it would have 
detracted from the honour of Christ, by the 
interposition of whose providence the great work 
has been effected : " His own arm hath gotten 

* See Professor Lee's second letter, &c, page 57. 

t See also Ellis's Polynesian Researches, vol. i., p. 59. 



him the victory." Further, it would have dero- 
gated from the honour of Christianity, which 
has triumphed, not by human authority, but by 
it* own moral power by the light which it 
spread abroad, and by the benevolent spirit it 
disseminated ; for kindness is the key to the 
human heart, whether it be that of savage or 
civilised man ; and when, instead of being bar- 
barously murdered, they were treated with 
kindness, the multitude immediately embraced 
the truth ; for they naturally attributed this 
mighty transformation in their formerly san- 
guinary chieftains, to the benign influence of 
the Gospel upon their minds. 


A Tradition How the Rarotongans first obtained the 
Knowledge of the Europeans They pray to their Gods 
that Ships may visit their Island A Ship, supposed to 
have been the Bounty, arrives The Tides The un- 
soundness of Captain Beechy's theory Peculiarities of 
Barotonya Buteve the Cripple Their Wars, Savage 
Usages, &c. Female Degradation Grades in Society, 

During our stay at Rarotonga, I obtained infor- 
mation from the natives upon a variety of sub- 
jects, some of which were both curious and 
instructive. The first I shall mention is a legend 
in reference to the peopling of their island. 
Upon this subject the natives have several tra- 
ditions, in one of which there is a strange history 
of Apopo iva roa, or the long-boned giant, who 
is said to have walked to the island upon the 
sea ; but this, with many others, I shall pass 
over, and confine myself to the following, which, 
divested of those portions that are evidently 
fabulous, I regard as the correct account. It 
states that Karika, the ancestor of the present 
Makea family, came originally from an island 
to the westward, named Manuka. This Karika 
was a mighty warrior, a " man-killer,"and a great 
navigator, who, in his peregrinations at sea, dis- 
covered the island of Rarotonga. On landing, he 
found it uninhabited ; and, after remaining there 
some time, he again put to sea, and in this voy- 
age he met with Tangiia. This man was a chief of 
Faaa, a district in Tahiti, who, by cutting down a 
favourite bread-fruit tree, had so much exaspe- 
rated his brother, Tutabu am roa, (or Tutabu, 
the insatiable pursuer,) that he was determined 
to put Tangiia and all his family to death. 
On hearing this, Tangiia launched his large 
canoe, and sought safety in flight ; and, taking 
with him his family and followers, among 
whom were two beautiful daughters, he sailed 
for Huahine, which is about a hundred miles to 
the westward of Tahiti, where he arrived in 
safety. He had not, however, been there many 
days, before Tutabu, with his tint, or thousands, 
entered the harbour of that island, with a deter- 
mination to destroy his brother. To escape his 
vengeance, Tangiia set sail immediately for 
Raiatea ; but was closely followed by Tutabu. 
Continuing his flight, he sailed to Porapora, 
where he had scarcely landed, when he again 

found his pursuer at his heels. From hence 
he proceeded to Maupiti, the last of the Society 
Islands, but here also Tutabu followed him; 
when, seeing no possibility of escaping the fury 
of his unrelenting foe, Tangiia, with his tint, 
launched upon the trackless ocean, in search of 
a refuge where he might happen to find it. 
After having been a long time at sea, he fell in 
with Karika, from the island of Manuka, who 
forthwith prepared for battle ; and, lashing his 
canoe firmly to that of the poor unfortunate 
Tangiia, was about to attack him, when he made 
submission, by presenting to Karika the emblems 
of supremacy, both civil and religious, saying, 
" Tena mai te vaevae roa" " Yours is the long- 
legged," or man belongs to you. " Tena mai 
te vavae poto" "Yours is the short-legged," or 
the turtle belongs to you ; which, being the 
most sacred fish, was considered as an emblem 
of supremacy in religious affairs. "Yours is 
the butunga, apinga, katoatoa, or the source of 
every treasure," reserving to himself only his 
" takai kete," or the food with which the people 
of his own district might supply him. With 
this Karika was satisfied, and having made a 
friendly covenant with Tangiia, received from 
him one of his beautiful daughters to wife. The 
brave warrior then informed his friend of the 
lovely island he had discovered, told him the 
direction in which it lay, and promised, when 
he had accomplished the object of his present 
voyage, to return and settle there. Tangiia, 
talcing leave of his formidable ally, steered for 
Rarotonga, and, on reaching it, took up his 
residence on the east side. Karika returned to 
the island some short time after, and, with his 
tini, settled on the north side. But they had 
not long enjoyed the comforts of repose, when, 
to the astonishment and consternation of Tangiia, 
the fleet of his determined enemy Tutabu was 
descried off the harbour's mouth. The " relent- 
less pursuer" had determined to range the ocean 
in search of his adversary, and now that he had 
discovered him, felt confident that he should 
effect his destruction. Tangiia immediately 
despatched a messenger to inform his friend 
Karika of Tutabu's arrival, and to request his 
assistance in the ensuing battle ; hoping that, 
by an union of their forces, they might conquer 
him. Karika accordingly collected his tini, 
and went forthwith to the assistance of his 
friend. A desperate engagement ensued, in 
which Tutabu was conquered and killed. They 
next had to bake him ; but this they found more 
difficult than to kill him ; for, although they 
heated a large oven thoroughly, and put many 
hot stones inside him, they found on opening 
the oven that it was cold, and Tutabu quite 
uncooked. Failing here, they conveyed the 
body to the next district, where they prepared 
another oven, and used a different kind of wood 
for fuel, but with no better success. This process 
they repeated in every district in the island, with 
a similar result, until they came to the last, at 
which they succeeded. For this reason they 
gave to the district its present name of Taana, 
which signifies " well done, or baked over 
again." There is in this tradition a great deal 

e 2 



more of the fabulous than I have mentioned, 
especially in relation to the canoe in which 
Tangiia came to Rarotonga, which is said to 
have been built in the invisible world, and to 
have been conveyed by the birds to the top of 
a mountain during one night, and on the next, 
to have been removed from thence by the same 
extraordinary carriers to a large canoe-house 
erected by Tangiia for its reception. This cele- 
brated ship had nine or ten remarkable names, 
taken from so many striking circumstances con- 
nected with its building, the manner in which it 
was conveyed to this world, and other incidents, 
the relation of which might perhaps gratify the 
curious, but, from the press of more important 
matter, I can only add, that its principal name 
was Tarai-po, or " built in the invisible world." 

This account, divested of the fabulous, is 
certainly supported by existing circumstances ; 
for, in the first place, the Tahitian and Society 
islanders have other traditions respecting both 
Tangiia and Tutabu, which state that they were 
both great travellers, that they had a serious 
quarrel about their lands, and that they dwelt 
in the district of Faaa in Tahiti. Hence it may 
be fairly assumed, that such persons did actually 
exist, and that they were not, like the long- 
boned giant, the mere creations of fancy. This 
opinion is also supported by the fact, that the 
islands from which these progenitors are said 
to have come, are about equal distances from 
Rarotonga, Tahiti being to the east, and Manuka 
to the west of it. The language also of the 
present inhabitants is pure Tahitian, with an 
infusion of the hard consonants and nasal sounds 
which characterise the dialects of the west. To 
these we may add another striking evidence, 
derived from the political divisions still exist- 
ing in the island. The people are, to the present 
day, two distinct bodies, designated Ngati Karika 
or the descendants of Karika ; and Ngati Tangiia, 
the descendants of Tangiia ; the former still oc- 
cupying the north side of the island, and the 
latter the east. It is also worthy of remark, 
that the superior chieftainship is still vested in 
the Karika family ; for, although the Ngati 
Karika have been beaten many times, indeed 
generally, by the descendants of Tangiia, yet the 
conquerors agree in allowing them the supremacy 
which they have possessed from time imme- 
morial. The present Makea is the twenty- 
ninth of that family.* 

The first knowledge and intercourse of the 
Rarotongans with white people appears also to 
he worthy of notice ; for, although Captain 
Cook did not discover the island, we found that 
the inhabitants had a knowledge of him before 
our arrival, which they received partly from the 
heathen woman of whom I have previously 
spoken, and partly from some natives who were 

When we were preparing to depart for Raiatea, the 
uncle of Makea, whom he appointed as Regent, delivered 
a most interesting address, in which he enumerated the 
ancestry of the king, commencing with Makea Karika; 
and for every one of whom he had a peculiar designation, 
descriptive of his character, as was the case with the 
Pharaohs of Egypt I much regret that I did not obtain a 
correct report of this address, as I listened to it with pe- 
culiar interest. 

drifted from Tahiti down to Rarotonga in a canoe. 
These arrived while the islanders were engaged 
in a war ; and, supposing that the island was 
uninhabited, two of their number went to a dis- 
tance in search of eels, where they fell into the 
hands of the natives. Their companions ex- 
pecting to be killed, launched their canoe and 
put again to sea, leaving their two friends be- 
hind them. The inhabitants, however, treated 
them kindly, when they began to disclose the 
wonders they had seen ; informing them that 
they were not the only people in the world, but 
that a race existed entirely different from them- 
selves, who were quite white, and were called 
Tute or Cook; that they traversed the ocean 
for months together as on dry land ; that their 
canoes were immensely large, and instead of 
being tied and lashed with cinet, were held to- 
gether with "kurima" or iron: and that though 
they had no outrigger, they did not overturn. 
All this was astonishing information ; but the 
Cookees were moreover represented by the 
trumpeters of their fame as a very impious 
people, who cared not for the gods, but walked 
with the greatest unconcern about the maraes, 
and even ate the sacred food. On hearing this, 
the astonished inhabitants exclaimed, " Why do 
you not drive them away, and seize all their 
property 1 ?" To which it was replied, that they 
were like the gods, and were out of their power ; 
adding, "If we attempt to hurt them, they blow 
at us." " What," said the Rarotongans, " will 
blowing at you hurt you 1" When they were 
informed that it was "not blowing at them with 
the mouth, but with long things they call 
pupuhi,* out of which comes fire and a stone, 
which kills us in an instant, before we can get 
near them with our spears." These two men 
happened to have a small hatchet with them, 
which had been obtained from Captain Cook's 
vessel, and which they gave to the chief ; who, 
instead of applying it to its proper purpose, 
kept it very carefully to cut his food. 

On hearing all this important intelligence, the 
natives commenced praying to their gods to 
send Captain Cook to their island in his large 
canoe, to bring them axes, nails, and guns. 
The following was the substance of their prayer, 
which was given to me by an old priest : " O, 
great Tangaroa, send your large ship to our 
land ; let us see the Cookees. Great Tangiia, 
send us a dead sea, send us a propitious gale, 
to bring the far-famed Cookees to our island, to 
give us nails, and iron, and axes : let us see 
these outriggerless canoes." They then voci- 
ferated the names of all their gods, invoking 
them to unite their energies in the accomplish- 
ment of this greatly-desired object ; and con- 
cluded by a presentation of food, and a promise 
of making still greater offerings, if they would 
conduct the ship to their island. Not very long 
after this, a large ship did actually arrive ; and 
from the description the natives gave me of her, 
I have no doubt but that it was the Bounty, 
after she had been taken by the mutineers. 
This vessel did not anchor, hut one of the 

The native name for guns. 



natives took his little canoe, and summoning 
all his courage, ventured to go on board. On 
returning to the shore, he told his astonished 
countrymen that it was a floating island ; that 
there were two rivers of water flowing on it ; 
that two large taro plantations, with sugar- 
cane, bread-fruit, and other trees, were growing 
there ; that the keel scraped the bottom of the 
sea ; for he dived as deep as man could go, and 
could not see its termination. I account for 
these singular statements, by supposing that the 
pumps were at work while the man was on 
board, which he mistook for rivers, or streams, 
and that the two plantations, bread-fruit trees, 
&c, were the large boxes which were fitted up 
throughout this vessel for those exotics, which 
it was the specific object of the Bounty to con- 
vey from Tahiti to the West Indies. From this 
vessel was obtained a pointed piece of iron, 
about two feet six inches in length, which the 
natives immediately dedicated to the gods ; and 
finding that they could pierce the ground so 
much more easily with the iron than with their 
wooden tools, they were in the habit of borrow- 
ing it from the gods ; and when the food thus 
planted was ripe, they invariably carried three 
portions to the marae, the first of which was 
dedicated as an expression of gratitude to the 
deities for causing the food to grow ; the second, 
in payment for the loan of the iron ; and the 
third as a present, to induce them to conduct 
ships there, that they might obtain more of that 
valuable article. 

Upon a variety of other interesting topics, in 
reference to Rarotonga, I shall be equally brief. 
Some, indeed, I must pass over altogether. 
An observation or two, however, upon the tides, 
should not be omitted. It is to the Missionaries 
a well-known fact, that the tides in Tahiti and 
the Society Islands are uniform throughout the 
year, both as to the time of the ebb and flow, 
and the height of the rise and fall ; it being 
high-water invariably at noon and at midnight ; 
and, consequently, the water is at its lowest 
point at six o'clock in the morning and evening. 
The rise is seldom more than eighteen inches 
or two feet above low-water mark. It must be 
observed, that mostly once, and frequently 
twice in the year, a very heavy sea rolls over 
the reef and bursts with great violence upon 
the shore. But the most remarkable feature in 
the periodically high sea is, that it invariably 
comes from W. and S. W., which is the oppo- 
site direction to that from which the trade-wind 
blows. The eastern sides of the islands are, I 
believe, never injured by these periodical inun- 
dations. I have been thus particular in my 
observations, for the purpose, in the first place, 
of calling the attention of scientific men to this 
remarkable phenomenon, as I believe it is 
restricted to the Tahitian and Society Island 
groups in the SDuth Pacific, and the Sandwich 
Islands in the nDrth. I cannot, however, speak 
positively respecting the tides at the islands east- 
ward of Tahiti ; but at all the islands I have 
visited in the same parallel of longitude to the 
southward, and in those to the westward, in the 
same parallel of latitude, the same regularity is 

not observed ; but the tides vary with the moon, 
both as to the time and the height of the rise 
and fall, which is the case at Rarotonga. Another 
reason for which I have been thus minute is to 
correct the erroneous statements of some scien- 
tific visitors. One of these, the notorious Kot- 
zebue, observes, " Every noon, the whole year 
round, at the moment the sun touches the meri- 
dian, the water is highest, and falls with the 
sinking sun till midnight." 

Captain Beechy, when speaking upon the 
tides, states, 

" The tides, in all harbours formed by coral 
reefs are very irregular and- uncertain, and are 
almost wholly dependent upon the sea-breezes. 
At Oututaunoa, it is usually low-water about 
six every morning, and high-water half an hour 
after noon. To make this deviation from the 
ordinary course of nature intelligible, it will be 
better to consider the harbour as a basin, over 
the margin of which, after the breeze springs up, 
the sea beats with considerable violence, and 
throws a larger supply into it than the narrow 
channels can carry off in the same time ; and 
consequently, during that period the tide rises. 
As the wind abates the water subsides, and, the 
nights being generally calm, the water finds its 
lowest level by the morning." 

This statement is certainly most incorrect ; 
for not only have I observed for years the un- 
deviating regularity of the tides, but this is so 
well understood by the natives, that the hours 
of the day and night are distinguished by terms 
descriptive of its state. As, for example, instead 
of asking, "What is the time 1 ?" they say, 
" Where is the tide V Nor can the tides, as 
Captain B. observes, be " wholly dependent on 
the sea-breeze ;" for there are many days during 
the year when it is perfectly calm, and yet the 
tide rises and falls with the same regularity as 
when the trade-winds blow ; and we very fre- 
quently have higher tides in calms than during 
the prevalence of the trade-wind. Beside which, 
the tides are equally regular on the westward 
or leeward side of the islands, which the trade- 
wind does not reach, as on the eastward, from 
which point it blows. But the perfect fallacy 
of Captain Beechy's theory will be still more 
apparent, if it be recollected that the trade- 
wind is most powerful from mid-day till about 
four or five o'clock, during which time the tide 
is actually ebbing so fast that the water finds its 
lowest level by six o'clock in the evening ; and 
that in opposition to the strength of the sea- 
breeze. Captain Beechy adds, " that the nights 
being calm, the water finds its lowest level by 
morning ;" whereas the fact is, that the water 
finds its highest point at midnight, when it is 
perfectly calm. How, then, can the tides be 
dependent on the sea-breeze 1 

It is to me a matter of regret that scientific 
men, when writing upon these subjects, do not 
avail themselves of the facts which Missionaries 
might supply ; for while we make no preten- 
sions to great scientific attainments, we do not 
hesitate to assert, that it is in our power to 
furnish more substantial data on which to philo- 
sophise, than could be obtained by any tran- 




sient visitor, however profound in knowledge, 
or diligent in research. 

Without making any further observations on 
the beautiful appearance of the rocks, hills, and 
valleys of Rarotonga, I shall hasten to observe 
one or two particulars in which it differs from 
the Society and other Islands ; leaving several 
other points to be noticed in a concluding 
chapter. One valuable peculiarity of this lovely 
island is, the extent of its low land. In many 
of the islands, the mountains approach so near 
to the sea as to leave but little arable land ; but 
this is not, to my recollection, the case in any 
part of Rarotonga. Its soil also must be ex- 
ceedingly rich, or the climate peculiarly adapted 
to the fruits Which grow there ; for, on our 
arrival, we were astonished to see the taro* and 
kape, the ti and sugar-cane growing luxuriantly 
nearly down to the edge of the sea. The whole 
island was also in a high state of cultivation, and 
I do not recollect having witnessed anything 
more beautiful than the scene presented to me, 
when standing on the side of one of the hills, 
and looking towards the sea-shore. In the first 
place, there are rows of superb chestnut-trees, 
inocarpus, planted at equal distances, and 
stretching from the mountain's base to the sea, 
with a space between each row of about half a 
mile wide. This space is divided into small 
taro beds, which are dug four feet deep, and can 
be irrigated at pleasure. These average about 
half an acre each. The embankments round 
each bed are thrown up with a slope, leaving a 
fiat surface upon the top of six or eight feet in 
width. The lowest parts are planted with taro, 
and the sides of the embankment with kape or 
gigantic taro, while on the top are placed, at 
regular intervals, small beautifully shaped bread- 
fruit-trees. The pea-green leaves of the taro, 
the extraordinary size and dark colour of the 
kape lining the sloping embankment, together 
with the stately bread-fruit-trees on the top, 
present a contrast which produces the most 
pleasing effect. 

There is a good road round the island, which 
the natives call ara medua, or the parent path, 
both sides of which are lined with bananas and 
mountain plantains ; which, with the Barring- 
tonia, chestnut, and other trees of wide-spread- 
ing foliage, protect you from the rays of the 
tropical sun, and afford even in mid-day the 
luxury of cool, shady walks of several miles in 
length. The houses of the inhabitants were 
situated from ten to upwards of thirty yards 
from this pathway, and some of them were ex- 
ceedingly pretty. The path leading up to the 
house was invariably strewed with white and 
black peebles ; and on either side were planted 
the tufted-top fe'-tree or draccena, which bears a 
chaste and beautiful blossom, interspersed al- 
ternately with the gigantic taro. Six or eight 
stone seats were ranged in front of the premises, 
by the side of the " parent pathway." These 
were relics of antiquity, some of which were 
regarded with much veneration by the people, 
who, while they pointed to them, would say, 
" Here, my father, grandfather, or the great 
* Arum esculeutum. 

chief so-and-so sat." They were generally 
formed of two smooth stones, the one serving as 
a seat, and the other sunk in the earth to form 
the back. 

Here, in the cool of the evening, after the 
labours of the day, with a wreath of flowers on 
their brow, anointed with a sweet-scented oil, 
and wearing a new tiputa or the shining pakaku, * 
sat the inmates of the house to chat with any 
loquacious passenger about the events of their 
own little world. It was thus I met with the 
spiritual beggar Buteve. 

In passing one evening from Mr. Buzacott's 
to Mr. Pitman's station, my attention was ar- 
rested by seeing a person get off one of these 
seats, and walk upon his knees into the centre of 
the pathway, when he shouted, " "Welcome, 
servant of God, who brought light into this dark 
island ; to you are we indebted for the word of 
salvation." The appearance of his person first 
attracted my attention; his hands and feet being 
eaten off by a disease which the natives call ko- 
kovi, and which obliged him to walk upon his 
knees ; but, notwithstanding this, I found that 
he was exceedingly industrious, and not only 
kept his kainga in beautiful order, but raised food 
enough to support his wife and three children. 
The substitute he used for a spade in tilling the 
ground was an instrument called the ko, which 
is a piece of iron-wood, pointed at one end. 
This he pressed firmly to his side, and leaning 
the weight of his body upon it, pierced the 
ground, and then scraping out the earth with 
the stumps of his hands, he would clasp the ba- 
nana or taro plant, place it in the hole, and then 
fill in the earth. The weeds he pulled up in 
the same way. In reply to his salutation, I 
asked him what he knew of the word of salva- 
tion. He answered, " 1 know about Jesus 
Christ, who came into the world to save sin- 
ners." On inquiring what he knew about Jesus 
Christ, he replied, " I know that he is the Son 
of God, and that he died painfully upon the 
cross to pay for the sins of men, in order that 
their souls might be saved, and go to happiness 
in the skies." I inquired of him if all the peo- 
ple went to heaven after death? "Certainly 
not," he replied; "only those who believe in 
the Lord Jesus, who cast away sin, and who 
pray to God." " You pray, of course V I con- 
tinued. " O yes," he said, " I very frequently 
pray as I weed my ground and plant my food, 
but always three times a-day, beside praying 
with my family every morning and evening." I 
asked him what he said when he prayed. He 
answered, " I say, ' O Lord, I am a great sinner, 
may Jesus take my sins away by his good blood ; 
give me the righteousness of Jesus to adorn me, 
and give me the good Spirit of Jesus to instruct 
me, and make my heart good, to make me a man 
of Jesus, and take me to heaven when I die.' " 
"Well," I replied, "that, Buteve, is very excel- 
lent, but where did you obtain your knowledge V 
" From you, to be sure ; who brought us the 
news of salvation but yourself V "True," Ire- 
plied, "but I do not ever recollect to have seen 

* Native cloth, in the manufacture of which *he Ra- 
rotons;ans excel. 



you at either of the settlements to hear me speak 
of these things, and how do you obtain jour 
knowledge of them 1 ?" "Why," he said, "as the 
people return from the services, I take my seat 
by the way-side, and beg a bit of the word of 
them as they pass by ; one gives me one piece, 
another another piece, and I collect them to- 
gether in my heart, and, by thinking over what 
I thus obtain, and praying to God to make me 
know, I understand a little about his word." 
This was altogether a most interesting incident, 
as I had never seen the poor cripple before, and 
I could not learn that he had ever been in a 
place of worship. His knowledge, however, 
was such as to afford me both astonishment and 
delight, and I seldom passed his house, after this 
interview, without holding an interesting con- 
versation with him. 

Between each district was left a space of un- 
cultivated land, generally about half a mile in 
width. On these wastes their battles were most 
frequently fought ; for the inhabitants of each 
district invariably used every exertion to prevent 
their opponents from making encroachments 
upon their kaingas, or cultivated lands, and 
therefore disputed, with the greatest- pertinacity, 
every inch of the uncultivated waste ; nor did 
they, until entirely driven off, yield their posses- 
sions to the hands of the spoiler. But since 
the introduction of Christianity, many of these 
wastes have been cultivated. 

Their wars were exceedingly frequent. They 
had just been engaged in a disastrous conflict 
when we discovered the island. Pa and Kai- 
nuku, with the inhabitants of the eastern dis- 
trict, had been fighting with Makea and Tino- 
niana, the chiefs of the north and west sides of 
the island, when the latter were beaten, and 
Makea, with his people, driven away from their 
possessions, to which, however, peace having 
been restored, they had returned about a month 
or two prior to my first arrival. The sad effects 
of these contests were then and are still apparent ; 
for the laws of savage warfare appear to be like 
those of civilised countries, to " burn, kill, and 
destroy:" and there is not one old cocoa-nut 
tree to be seen on the north-west or south sides 
of the island. A few old bread-fruit trees still 
rear their lonely heads, having survived the in- 
juries which they received from the hands of the 
devastating conquerors. Walking one day with 
the king, among the groves of banana and bread- 
fruit trees, and observing the mutilations, I asked 
him jocosely, whilst pointing to one of them, why 
all the bark was stripped off ; and, turning to 
another, inquired why so deep a gash was cut in 
it; and wished to know what had become of 
the cocoa-nut trees, against the stumps of which 
we were continually striking our feet. To this 
he replied, " You know very well that we were 
conquered, and why do you banter me? We 
were fools enough to fight with the trees as well 
as with men ; some we cut down ourselves, lest 
our enemies should eat the fruit of them ; and 
others our conquerors destroyed. If it were 
possible, I would put new bark on all these trees, 
and fill up the gashes in the trunks of the others ; 
for, wherever I go, they stare me in the face, 

and remind me of my defeat. However, young 
trees are growing fast, and I am planting cocoa- 
nuts in all directions, so that my possessions will 
soon be equally valuable with those of our con- 
querors ; and I am under no apprehension of 
having them again destroyed, for the Gospel 
has put an end to our wars '." 

I inquired of the chief how they killed the 
cocoa-nut trees with such facility, when he in- 
formed me, that scarcely any tree could be de- 
stroyed with greater ease. One of the methods 
by which they effected it was singular : it was to 
place a large sea-snail, called the beach le mer, 
on the crown of the tree, around the sprout, and 
allow it to rot there. Another mode was, to 
beat the crown with a small stone. Soon after 
this was done, the tuft of plumy leaves, surround- 
ing the top of the tree, faded and fell, leaving 
the barren, naked trunk, of immense length, 
standing for years afterwards. This is accounted 
for in the following manner : 

Almost all trees belong to one of two great 
divisions of the vegetable kingdom : Exogenoe or 
Endogence. The former is so named from the 
circumstance of their receiving increase of matter, 
which is arranged externally, as regards the old 
layers. Buds are the organs provided for supply- 
ing the materials constituting the stem : and since 
in this class there is an indefinite quantity, the 
destruction of one or more does not in the 
slightest degree endanger the life of the plant. 
The contrary, however is the case in Endogence, 
(to which class the cocoa-nut belongs,) one bud 
alone keeping up a supply of matter necessary 
to the existence of the plant, by the descent of 
newly-formed fibre into the innermost part of 
the stem (not the exterior, as in Exogena). It 
consequently follows, that the innermost part is 
more susceptible of injury than the exterior ; and 
if the central bud, the source of the newly-formed 
matter, be destroyed, a stop is suddenly put to 
the process of its growth, and death ensues. 

Their wars, I think, may also be considered 
sanguinary. In the one which raged just prior 
to our first visit, the king informed me, that 
"fourscore and ten were slain," on the side of 
the conquerors, and " five score " on that of the 
conquered. Female prisoners were very fre- 
quently put to death ; and the reason assigned 
for this cruel practice was, that they might, per- 
chance, give birth, at some future period, to 
warriors. The poor little children had spears 
passed through their ears, and were carried in 
triumph to the marae. Of late years as soon as 
an antagonist was overcome in battle, the victor 
beat in his skull ; and taking out a portion of 
his brains, he placed it upon bread-fruit leaves, 
and carried it immediately to the gods, as an 
earnest of the victim he was about to bring. 
This practice originated in the following incident. 
During an engagement, a man named Karavai 
succeeded, as he imagined, in killing his oppo- 
nent, Oromea, and ran off instantaneously to the 
marae, with bread-fruit leaves, as an earnest of 
the victim about to be dedicated to the gods; 
but before he returned, Oromea, who was only 
stunned, recovered from the effects of the blow, 
hastened to his own district, collected his friends, 


and composed the following song in ridicule of 
his conqueror ; which, in the evening, they tri- 
umphantly sang, accompanied by drumming and 
dancing : 

Tcri rau kurn ua i te atua a Karavai e ' 

Kua ki a P r airota e ! 
Kare i tutulti tiha ia Oromea e ! 

Te koto ua ra te Tuporu i Te manga e ! 

What a carrying of bread-fruit leaves is Karavai's to his 
gods, ! 
He lias filled Vairota !* 
But lias not killed completely Oromea; 
For he is now drumming and dancing merrily at Te 
manga, ! f 

After this, in order to escape similar ridicule, 
the warriors determined to make sure of their 
victim by presenting his brains to the gods in- 
stead of bread-fruit leaves ; concluding, that in 
this way they would most effectually prevent the 
object of their vengeance from singing and 
dancing in sarcastic triumph. This having been 
presented, as soon as the whole of the inhabitants 
of the district could be convened, they fastened 
a rope to the legs of the corpse, and then dragged 
it as though it were a log of wood, to the great 
marae, with songs of savage exultation. 

Females at Rarotonga, like those of the So- 
ciety Islands, were treated as inferiors. They 
were neither allowed to eat certain kinds of food, 
which were reserved for the men and the gods, 
nor to dwell under the same roof with, their 
tyrannical masters ; but were compelled to take 
their scanty meal of inferior provisions at a dis- 
tance, while the "lords of creation" feasted 
upon the "fat of the land," and the " abundance 
of the sea." In one respect, the treatment of 
females at this island was materially worse than 
that which obtained in the Tahitian and Society 
groups ; for whilst in the latter females had a 
share of their fathers' possessions, at Rarotonga 
these went to the male branches of the family, 
and seldom, if ever, to the daughters, on the 
ground, as they alleged, that " their person was 
their portion." This circumstance may have 
contributed to render the females of Rarotonga 
less fickle and fastidious than the ladies of the 
Tahitian and Society Islands ; for let a man's 
possessions be ever so great in the latter, if his 
person is not attractive, they will not accept his 
overtures. I think, also, that the females of 
Rarotonga are more faithful, industrious, and 
affectionate than those of Tahiti. During the 
sickness, which prevailed shortly after our ar- 
rival, we were delighted at beholding the tender 
sympathy and unremitting attention which they 
showed to their sick husbands. Enter their 
habitations when we would, by night or by day, 
the head of the afflicted husband was in the lap 
of his affectionate wife ; while she beat off the 
annoying flies, bathed his temples with water, 
or eased pain by the gentle pressure of the tau- 

At Rarotonga there is not such an equality of 

Name of the marae. 

t The name of his owd district. 

{The taurumi differs from the Indian shampooing, it 
being a gentle squeezing, or compression of the afflicted 
part with a soft hand and the sensation is peculiarly 

rank as at Tahiti, but a man is great according 
to the number of his kaingas, or farms, which 
contain from one to four or five acres each. 
These are let to tenants, who, like the vassals 
in the ancient feudal system, obey the orders of 
their superior, assist him in the erection of his 
house, in building a canoe, making fishing-nets, 
and other occupations, besides bringing him a 
certain portion of the produce of his lands. This 
gives to the chiefs a degree of respectability. 
And here we may observe that four distinctions 
of rank obtain among the Rarotongans the 
ariki, or king : the mataiapo, or governors of 
districts ; the rangatira, or landholders ; and the 
unga, or tenants. Besides the minor districts, 
there are three grand divisions in the island, 
governed by the four principal chiefs, Pa, Kai- 
nuku, Tinomana, and Makea, the last of whom 
enjoys a limited supremacy over the whole. In 
consequence of these ancient political divisions, 
it was thought desirable to have three distinct 
Missionary settlements ; by which arrangement 
all the inhabitants now reside with their beloved 
Missionary, under their respective chiefs, and 
near their own plantations, enjoying the in- 
estimable blessing of Christian instruction, and 
" sitting under their own vine and fig-tree," 
or rather under their own bread-fruit and ba- 
nana groves, "none making them afraid." 


Mr. Piatt's Voyage Intelligence from Rarotonga The 
Vineennes and the Seringapatam arrive at Kaiatea 
Missionary Meetings Native Speeches Interesting 
interview with Captain Waldegrave Preparations for 
our Voyage. 

The first voyage which the Messenger of Peace 
took after being thoroughly fitted out was to 
convey Messrs. Pritchard and Simpson to the 
Marquesan Islands ; the Directors having de- 
termined to endeavour to re-establish the 
mission among the savage inhabitants of that 
group. This voyage, together with the time 
consumed in effecting the necessary alterations 
in the vessel, occupied about twelve months ; 
at the expiration of which, she sailed for the 
Hervey Islands, and my esteemed brother Mis- 
sionary, Mr. Piatt, undertook to visit them. He 
found all the missions in a pleasing state, al- 
though our dear friends at Rarotonga had 
endured some very severe trials. An extract 
from some of the letters which we received on 
the return of my colleague will enable the reader 
to form a correct estimate of the peculiarly dis- 
tressing circumstances in which the mission 
families were for a time placed. The first is 
from Mrs. Buzacott to Mrs. Williams. 

Rarotonga, December 30, 1829. 

My pear Mrs. Williams, 

Had you not requested it, I should cer- 
tainly have written to you by the return of this 
vessel, because I know you must feel interested 
in all that relates to Rarotonga. It is natural 
for me to begin by saying, how much we have 
been disappointed at the unexpected delay of 
the vessel. We thought that Mr. Williams was 

another of Pharaoh's butlers. I cannot tell you 
half of our feelings of disappointment during the 
months we have been expecting it ; but now 
that we are favoured with the company of a 
brother Missionary, we forget much that is past. 
Many and various have been our trials since you 
left us. They commenced on the part of Makea, 
who, after his return from Raiatea, became 
exceedingly haughty and unkind. Very little 
food was brought to us, and ill-disposed persons, 
observing the king's conduct, began to steal. 
We were obliged to talk of leaving them ; but 
when they heard of our intention they became 
alarmed, and have since been extremely kind. 
You recollect the contentions between Nga- 
tangiia and Tupapa, respecting some portions of 
land. These became so violent, that war was 
daily expected for months. The contending 
parties commenced skirmishing several times, 
but the judges succeeded in preventing them 
ii-om proceeding to a regular engagement. This 
vexed them, and then, to be avenged, they set 
fire at night to the houses of the judges. 

You know not what we suffered at this time, 
with the alarms of war by day, and fire by night ; 
and, had an opportunity then offered, 1 am not 
certain but that we should have considered it 
our duty to leave them, as I was in a very weak 
state, and expecting soon to be confined. "We 
had built a new school-house, which was twice 
burnt down, with several other houses. Many 
more were set on fire also at Mr. Pitman's 
station, including the new chapel which Mr. W. 
built. A brother of Tumu was caught in the 
act of setting fire to our chapel. He was se- 
verely punished, and we have had no house- 
burning since. At the same time a tremendous 
mountain-torrent rushed down behind our 
house, which obliged us with precipitation to 
remove all our property ; the bustle and fright 
of which was too much lor me. I was removed 
to Makea's new house, and confined there to 
my bed for some days. Mrs. Pitman then 
kindly left her own home, and came to live with 
us until after my confinement. Our heavenly 
Father was better than our fears, and compelled 
us to praise him for his goodness. Our dear 
little girl was baptized by Mr. Pitman about a 
fortnight after : her name is Sarah Ann. Not 
another fortnight had elapsed when I was seized 
with a violent internal inflammation ; and we 
again sent for our neighbours, who came immedi- 
ately to our assistance. The attack was severe : 
I was twice bled ; and, indeed, every method was 
used that our little skill suggested, and it pleased 
God to give his blessing. We had anticipated a 
separation ; for our means were few, the symp- 
toms very acute, and our stock of medicine long 
before exhausted ; so that our hearts were much 
affected by the goodness of God, in appearing 
for our relief. I recovered gradually, though 

You will know that we have been the subjects 
of privations, when I tell you that we have 
seen no one, since the vessel brought Makea 
back, until the arrival of Mr. Piatt ; but, 
what is still worse, our supplies are not now 
come. "We are both wearing the last shoes we 

have : and, as we have been formerly supplied 
by Mr. Pitman with shoes as well as medicine, 
I know not what we shall do. Should any goods 
arrive for us, do request Mr. Williams to forward 
them immediately. I am much obliged to you 
for what you have sent, &c. ; it is, indeed, very 
acceptable. We think the news of a visit from 
Mr. Williams is almost too good to be true. 

We are sorry to hear of the loss of your two 
children ; but cease to grieve ; it is their un- 
speakable gain. Yours affectionately, 

S. V. Buzacott. 

The next is an extract from Mr. Pitman to 
the Author : 

Ngatangiia, December 30th, 1829. 
My dear Brother, 

Your kind epistle came duly to hand. We 
were very much afraid that something had 
occurred to the vessel at the Marquesas, but all 
our fears are now removed. I believe when I 
wrote last it was a letter of sympathy, in con- 
sequence of the loss of your dear little babe, 
and the very next I received from you brings 
the sad intelligence of the birth and death of 
another. Well, my dear brother, what shall we 
say to these things 1 Shall we murmur ? shall 
we say God deals unkindly 1 This would be 
sinful. Are they not before the throne of God 
and the Lamb, and made perfectly holy even as 
the angels of God? Had you your choice, what 
better thing or better place could you have 
wished for your little ones % Let the contem- 
plation, that they are now jewels, adorning the 
crown of Immanuel, dry up your tears. We 
feel much for you both, but especially for Mrs. 
W. May the Lord support her mind, strength- 
en her faith, and give entire resignation to his 
will ! 

Since you left us we have been exposed to 
war, fire, and water. 


After giving me a full account of these dis- 
astrous events, which took place at Avarua, he 
observes : 

They commenced with us, and set Tupe's 
house in a blaze, which communicated to his 
sons, and then to our chapel, which, in a few 
hours, was laid waste. Our house, which stood 
just behind Papeiha's, was in great danger, but 
escaped. For weeks afterwards these bad fel- 
lows were thus engaged. Since that our chapel 
has been again rebuilt, and a school-house, 90 
feet by 36, on the sea-side. The people gene- 
rally have behaved exceedingly kind to us from 
the beginning. They do everything to make us 
happy. Our chapel and schools are well at- 
tended ; some of our boys are getting on, and 
can read pretty well. They have read twice 
through the Hebrews, John, &c. Thanks to 
you for translating and getting these valuable 
books printed for us. In consequence of our 
unsettled affairs, I have not been able to do 
much. I have translated nine chapters of the 
Acts, and by the time you come down I hope 
it will be finished, with the scripture Cate- 
chisms, &c. 

I am sorry to say Mrs. P. continues very 


poorly, but bears up with great fortitude under 
her afflictions. She is not able to attend so 
much to the instruction of the females as she 
otherwise would. 

Yours very affectionately, 

C. P. 

The important time had now arrived for com- 
mencing the voyage on which my mind had been 
so long set, and for which the Messenger of 
Peace was built. The Rev. T. East, and the 
Rev. J. A. James of Birmingham, had gene- 
rously responded to my call, and forwarded a 
large supply of ironmongery for the undertaking. 
Everything appeared to favour, nothing to 
impede the design, and my beloved fellow- 
labourer, Mr. Barff, had consented to accompany 
me. My own people also entered into my pro- 
positions with so much zeal, that, on the an- 
nouncement of my intentions, eight members of 
our church offered their services for this enter- 
prise of mercy. A meeting was then held to 
consider the fitness of these individuals for the 
work; when Ave were favoured with the presence 
of the Rev. Mr. Stewart,* the chaplain, and a 
pious officer of the United States ship Yin- 
cennes, which was anchored off our settlement. 
At this meeting many excellent speeches were 
delivered by the natives. One of them contained 
a pretty allusion to the visit of the Yincennes, 
and the objects of Captain Finch, the com- 
mander, ingeniously applied to our contem- 
plated voyage. "A large man-of-war," said 
the speaker, " is now with us. She has come 
afar with kind intentions towards ourselves, and 
those like us. Her object is to learn our con- 
dition, and to encourage us to seek our own 
welfare. Her officers have their reward : they 
are covered and crowned with gold ; they wear 
gold on their shoulders and gold on their heads ; 
(alluding to the lace and epaulets of their uni- 
form ;) this is their reward. My thought is, 
that we also send a vessel to do good to those 
who are more ignorant and destitute than our- 
selves. Those of us who go on this expedition 
will not, like these our friends, be crowned with 
gold as a reward. No ! they will receive 
nothing, perhaps in this world : still they will 
be crowned. Yes, theirs shall be a crown of 
eternal life, given to them at last by their Lord 
and Master Jesus Christ." 

While, fitting out the Messenger of Peace, 
we were visited by one of Her Britannic Ma- 
jesty's frigates, commanded by the Honourable 
Captain Waldegrave, from which gentleman we 
received many kind attentions. Among other 
things he very obligingly supplied us with green 
paint to beautify our little vessel for our antici- 
pated voyage. Soon after their arrival, the 
Captain and his officers attended, in full uni- 
form, to pay their respects to the authorities of 
the island, as well as to Pomare, the Queen of 
Tahiti, who, with her husband, mother, and 
aunt, the Regent, was there on a visit to 
Tamatoa, the patriarch of royalty. After the 
ceremonies of introduction, Tamatoa, the king 

* Mr. S. was formerly a Missionary to the Sandwich 
Islands, and is well known by his interesting writings. 

of Raiatea, and Pomare, his grand-daughter, 
with other branches of the family, entered an 
inner apartment, and returned shortly after- 
wards with fine mats and native cloth, which 
they laid at Captain W.'s feet, and begged hup 
to accept them. A quantity of native pro- 
visions, cocoa-nuts, bananas, taro, &c, with 
several hogs, were brought and placed in full 
view before the door ; when a speaker, with an 
oratorical attitude and loud voice, enumerated 
the whole, which he submitted to the disposal 
of the captain, as an expression of the pleasure 
they felt in welcoming himself and officers to 
their island. Captain W. kindly received their 
gifts, and made them some valuable presents in 

At the invitation of Captain Waldegrave, 
Pomare, Tamatoa, Maihara, the late excellent 
regent of Huahine, and other branches of the 
family, dined on board the Seringapatam, and 
I was requested to accompany the party, and to 
act as interpreter. After dinner we were con- 
ducted through the immense vessel, every part 
of which excited the astonishment of the visitors. 
Captain W. expressed himself pleased with the 
manner in which his sable friends had behaved. 
The Queen of Tahiti and Maihara were well 
dressed, wearing black silk gowns and hand- 
some bonnets of fine English straw, trimmed 
with ribbons and flowers, which had been given 
to them by Captain Laws, commander of the 
Satellite sloop-of-war, who visited the island 
some months before ; which gentleman also 
took a lively interest in our labours, attended 
the examination of our schools, and distributed, 
with his own hands, valuable presents of 
scissors, knives, ribbons, &c, to those scholars 
who excelled. Indeed I very gladly embrace 
this opportunity of stating that the commanders 
and officers of those vessels of war, both from 
England and the United States of America, 
which have visited the stations occupied by 
myself, have, without exception, evinced the 
same friendly disposition. 

The countenance of such gentlemen has been 
of inestimable advantage in the prosecution of 
our arduous labours, by strengthening the con- 
fidence of the people in their Missionaries ; but 
more especially by counteracting the base 
insinuations and vile misrepresentations of run- 
away sailors and others, Avho have occasionally 
caused us much inconvenience ; of which the 
following instance may afford a good illustration. 
A convict from New South Wales had escaped 
to the islands. He was certainly a well- 
educated and clever rogue ; and, having fixed 
his residence at the neighbouring island of 
Tahaa, he ingratiated himself into the favour 
of the chiefs and people, by telling them that 
they were selling their hogs and provisions at a 
price far too small, in receiving but eight or ten 
yards of print for a pig, whereas, in England, 
one joint was sold for more than they obtained 
for the whole ; and that the Missionaries, from 
interested motives, were keeping them in the 
dark upon these subjects ; but that, if they 
would allow him to manage their trade with 
the shipping, he would procure for them five cr 



ten times as much. All this was grateful to 
the chiefs and people, who, in consequence, 
appointed him their agent. Thus countenanced, 
he soon began to speak disrespectfully of the 
Missionary ; and carried his insolence so far, 
that one week-day afternoon he entered the 
chapel, and upbraided him- -with not having told 
the people to demand higher prices for their 
property. Inflated with ideas of his own im- 
portance, he drew up a list of every article they 
had to dispose of, with the price attached. For 
instance, he set down, as one item, a large pig, 
for which they were to demand a new black 
coat, and other things in proportion. The 
natives met to consider the subject, were highly 
delighted with the proposal, and despatched a 
messenger with the list of prices to Tamatoa, 
for his approbation, without which they could 
not execute their plans. The good old chief 
sent the paper for my opinion. I returned it, 
saying, that he and his chiefs were at full liberty 
to ect as they pleased, for a document from a 
rogue was beneath my notice. In consequence 
of this, Tamatoa and his chiefs returned the 
following answer to their brethren, " That, if 
the man would bring his ship with his black 
coats and beautiful shawls, he should have all 
the pigs and arrow-root in the island ; but if 
his ship, hi* bi&ek coats, and shawls, were only 
in his mouth, he was a liar, and unworthy of 
regard ; being one of those bad men, against 
whom captains of vessels of war had lately 
warned them." 

As the Seringapatam arrived a few days 
before our Annual Missionary Meeting in May, 
we enjoyed the company of Captain Waldegrave 
and his officers during the services of the day, 
which commenced about ten o'clock, and con- 
tinued, with slight intermissions, till six. After 
morning service, Captain Waldegrave, his 
officers, and ourselves, dined at the King's 
house; while the whole congregation were 
feasting in an open space outside, where the 
ground was overlaid with fresh grass, and the 
company screened from the rays of the sun by- 
awnings of native cloth. More than a thousand 
persons dined together, all of whom were 
seated on sofas, chairs, or stools of their own 
manufacture, around tables groaning under the 
weight of baked pigs, fish, bread-fruit, bananas, 
sweet potatoes, puddings of arrow-root, cocoa- 
nut, &c. Satisfaction beamed on every coun- 
tenance, and the people " eat their food with 
gladness." After dinner, and even while eating, 
several natives addressed the company, con- 
trasting, in striking and animated language, 
their present comfort and happiness with their 
former misery and degradation. 

At about half past two, or three o'clock, we 
re-assembled in our chapel to conduct the 
business of our auxiliary. In order to give our 
respected guests a greater degree of interest 
in the proceedings of the day, I not only wrote 
in English the order of the meeting, with the 
resolutions to be proposed, but engaged to 
interpret the address of each speaker. Tamatoa, 
the king, took the chair, and called upon one 
of the native Christians to give out a hymn, 

and implore the Divine presence. He selected 
for the occasion the Jubilee hymn, " Blow ye 
the trumpet, blow," which had been translated 
into the native language. After this, the 
venerable chairman, who himself was formerly 
worshipped as a god, opened the business in an 
interesting speech ; and then requested the 
native secretary to read the list of subscriptions.* 
The resolutions were then proposed, seconded, 
and carried by a show of hands, with the regu- 
larity observed at similar meetings in our own 
country. One of these expressed pleasure at 
the presence of Captain Waldegrave and his 
officers, and tendered to them the thanks of the 
chiefs and people for their obliging attentions. 
To these gentlemen the native Christians, who 
proposed and seconded this motion, addressed 
their observations, and Captain Waldegrave 
replied, by expressing the sincere pleasure he 
had derived from seeing them in such a state, 
and by pointing out the inestimable advantages 
of knowledge in general, but especially of that 
contained in the Scriptures. He then, after 
having kindly recommended the people to 
continue their attendance on the instructions 
of the Missionaries, his countrymen, to whom 
they were so much indebted, assured them that 
he should not fail to inform his numerous friends 
in England, who took a lively interest in their 
welfare, of what he had seen and heard. After 
this, the teachers, who were about to leave 
country, relatives, and friends, to convey the 
glad tidings of salvation to the still barbarous 
inhabitants of distant islands, took an affection- 
ate farewell of their brethren, whom they en- 
treated to bear them on their hearts when at 
the throne of grace. It was a day of peculiar 
delight to the people ; and the circumstance of 
our being about to embark on the greatest Mis- 
sionary enterprise we had yet undertaken, the 
parting addresses of the teachers, the presence 
of so many respectable visitors, with the im- 
portant advice and appropriate counsels of the 
Honourable Captain Waldegrave, contributed 
to invest the proceedings with unprecedented 

Being occupied as interpreter of the addresses, 
I was prevented from taking them down, ac- 
cording to my usual practice. An accurate 
idea, however, may be formed of their character, 
by a few extracts from those of the previous 
year : 

" On that occasion the first speaker arose 
and said : My friends, let us this afternoon 
remember our former state how many children 
were killed, and how few were kept alive ; but 
now none are destroyed. Parents now behold 
with pleasure their three, five, and even their 
ten children ; the majority of whom woidd have 
been murdered, had not God sent It's word to 

* The people, having no coin, contribute arrow-root 
and cocoa-nut oil. These we generally sold to merchant- 
ships that touched there, and transmitted the money 
to the Treasurer in London. On one occasion, I had 
the pleasure of forwarding, for between two or three 
years, no less a sum than 300/., about 27/. of which was 
contributed in one year by the school children only. 
The whole of the amount I have sent from my station 
at Raiatea is about 700/. 




us. Now hundreds of these are daily taught the 
word of God. We knew not that we possessed 
that invaluable property a living soul. Neither 
our wise ancestors, nor Oro, nor any of our 
former gods, ever told us so. But Jehovah 
caused compassion to grow in the hearts of the 
good Christians of England, who formed a 
Society, purchased a ship, and sent Missionaries 
to tell us that we had souls souls that will 
never die ; and now we are dwelling in comfort, 
and hope for salvation through Jesus Christ. 
But do all the lands of darkness possess the 
same knowledge ? Do all know that they have 
never-dying souls ? that there is one good and 
one bad place for every soul after death ? Do 
all know that Jesus Christ came into the world 
to save sinners ? No ! some are worshipping 
idols ; some are killing themselves, and others 
their children. Then let us send them Mis- 
sionaries to teach them the good word which we 
have been taught." 

The following address was delivered by 
Fenuapeho, the chief of Tahaa, who led on the 
heathen party in the battle at Raiatea, of which 
I have given an account. He said - 

" Praise to God well becomes us : but let it 
be heart-praise. All the work we do for God 
must be heart-work We were dwell- 
ing formerly in a dark house, among centipedes 
and lizards, spiders and rats ; nor did we know 
what evil and despicable things were around us. 
The lamp of light, the word of God, has been 
brought, and now we behold with dismay and 
disgust these abominable things. But stop. 
Some are killing each other this very day, 
while we are rejoicing; some are destroying 
their children, while Ave are saving ours ; some 
are burning themselves in the fire, while we are. 
bathing in the cool waters of the Gospel. 
What shall we do ? We have been told this 
day by our Missionary that God works by 
sending his word and his servants. To effect 
this, property must be given. We have it ; we 
can give it. Prayer to God is another means : 
let us pray fervently. But our prayer will 
condemn us if we cry, ' Send forth thy word 
and make it grow,' and do not use the means. 
I shall say no more, but let us cleave to Jesus." 
Mahamene, one of the teachers who laboured 
many years at Rurutu, spoke as follows : 

" There were two captivities amongst us 
formerly ; the one was a captivity to our gods ; 
the other was our captivity to the teuteu arii, 
or king's servants. Perhaps there is an indivi- 
dual present to whom the former will particu- 
larly apply, for I know the very cave in which 
he hid himself several times, when he was 
sought after to be offered up as a sacrifice to 
the gods.* Has he obtained shelter in the 
true Refuge for sinners'? The other captivity 
was to the servants of our chiefs. These would 
enter our houses, and commit the greatest 
depredations. The raatira, or master of the 
house, would sit as a poor captive, without 
daring to speak, while they would seize his 
rolls of cloth, kill the fattest of his pigs, pluck 

* Tins person wis sitting at the time in front of the 

the best of his bread-fruit, and take the very 
posts of his house for firewood with which to 
cook them. Is there not a person present who 
buried his new canoe in the sand to hide it 
from these desperate men? But now all these 
customs are abolished ; we live in peace, with- 
out fear. But what has abolished them all ? 
Is it our own goodness ? is it our own strength ? 
No ! it is the Gospel of Jesus. We do not now 
hide our pigs underneath our beds, and use our 
rolls of cloth for pillows, to secure them ; our 
pigs may now run where they please, and our pro- 
perty may hang in our house, no one touching it. 
Now we have cinet bedsteads ; we have excel- 
lent sofas to sit on, neat plastered houses to 
dwell in, and our property we can call our own." 
Another, who is now at the Navigators' Is- 
lands, said 

" God has made two great lights, the sun and 
the moon, and placed them in the heavens ; and 
for what has he placed them there ? To thrust 
away the darkness. So the Missionary Society : 
it is like a great light; its object is to thrust 
away the darkness and wickedness of the world, 
and to teach all the way of salvation by Jesus 
Christ. Let us give our little property to assist 
in kindling this great light, that it may arise 
and shine upon the people who are now sitting 
in darkness and in the shadow of death." 

Ahuriro, an intimate friend of the late Po- 
mare, observed 

" God could work without us. He said, 
' Let there be light, and there was light.' But 
he is pleased to work by us. Let us then give 
what we have willingly to assist the parent 
Society in England. God the Father has 
work, God the Son has work, God the Spirit 
has work in the redemption of man. Shall God 
work, and we sit still I Shall Jesus Christ 
pray, and we be silent?" 

Another commenced by a few comparisons, 
to show that all sought means to accomplish the 
object they had in view, as the fisherman his 
nets, baits, &c. ; after which he said 

"So will those who love Christ; they will 
devise means to send his Gospel to other lands, 
that they also may know the Saviour. I have 
been seeking a name by which to call the property 
thus subscribed, and I think it may be called 
Property to seek lost souls. Are not the souls 
of those living in darkness lost souls? and is 
not this property the mams by which they will 
obtain the light of life 1 It is the thought of 
lost souls that animates good people in their 
labours. They do not collect property for 
themselves; it is for lost souls. We give pro- 
perty for everything. If we want a canoe, we 
give property for it ; if we want a net, we give 
property for it ; and are not lost souls worth 
giving property to obtain? Think of lost souls, 
and work while it is called to-day." 

As that of Tamatoa is a genuine and curious 
specimen of native eloquence, and illustrates 
the ingenuity with which the people apply 
their ancient legends to new and useful pur- 
poses, I requested him to supply me with a copy 
of it, and the following is as literal a translation 
as I can give. It appears to have been used 


when addressing their kings at their inaugura- 
tion, and also, hy a little variation of phraseology, 
at the deposing of a chief whose reign had been 
one of tyranny and bloodshed : 

" An under chief of Tautu spoke concerning 
his king, Tautu opiri.* The legend of Natoofaf 
says, concerning Tautu opiri, that in his reign 
the roots of the bread-fruit tree were adzed 
smoothly from off the pathway ; it was even 
polished with shark's skin. \ The great seat 
Reuea was sat upon, the sweet-toned bamboo 
flute, Taneua, || was played, and men grew 
wrinkled with age, using a staff to support them 
as they walked. This king died lamented by 
his people, having spread the garment of peace 
over them ; for the heads of men were not cut 
off with bamboo knives during his reign, but the 
heads of pigs, and the food of peace was eaten. 
The foreheads of the beautiful women were 
made red with the mati berry, and their bright 
black hair was anointed with sweet scented 
oil.1I Behold, the peaceful reign of this king 
was long ; and let not the still more blessed 
reign of Jesus, the best of all kings, be short 
among us. 

"Tautu opiri begat a son, Te hau roa, or 
Long-reign, and then long was the peace en- 
joyed between the great Tahaa and Raiatea.** 
The roots of the bread-fruit tree were adzed, 
and the pathway polished with shark's skin, the 
great seat Reuea was sat upon, the flute Taneua 
was played, men grew wrinkled with age, and 
this king died lamented by his people, having 
spread the garment of peace, &c. &c. The 
peaceful reign of Te hau roa was long, and 
shall that of Jesus, the true Long-reign, be 
short 1 

"Long-reign begat a son, and called him 
Te Petipeti, or the Beautiful, and then delight- 
ful was the peace enjoyed between great Tahaa 
and Raiatea. The roots of the tree were adzed 
off smooth, &c. &c. Behold the peaceful reign 
of Beautiful was long, and shall that of Jesus, 
the true Beautiful, be short among us? No, 
never let it be shortened. It exceeds all others 
in beauty. 

" Te Petipeti begat a son whom he called 
Light-heart, and then light and happy were the 
hearts of the people in the peace between great 
Tahaa and Raiatea. The roots of the trees were 
adzed smoothly off, &c. &c. And this king 
died lamented by his people, having spread 
the garment of peace over them. And shall 
that of Jesus, whose Gospel gives true lightness 
of heart, be short among us 1 No, let it never 
be shortened. 

The name of the chief. 

t The name of his district. 

j The pathways in the island, being exceedingly nar- 
row, are rendered rugged by the roots of the large trees 
which shoot across them ; hence the allusion in the text 
became a common figure to express a Mate of unimpeded 
peace, when everything in their political and social in- 
tercourse went smoothly on. 

A great seat hewn out of one tree, on which the 
principal chiefs sat at all their great festivals. 

|| Taneua, a celebrated flute which they blew with their 

*J Expressions intimating that their amusements were 
enjoyed without interruption. 

* Adjacent islands encircled in one reef. 

" At length twin-brothers were born, Tautu 
and Taumata, Snappish-lips and Scowling-eyes ; 
and then jealousy began, and desperate war was 
waged. The polished pathway was made 
rugged, the seat Reuea was never sat upon, the 
conch shell of war was blown instead of the 
flute Teneua ; men were slain, instead of grow- 
ing wrinkled with age ; the women were not 
beautified with the mati berry, and the heads of 
men were cut off instead of those of the pigs. 
Thus was the peaceful reign of Tautu destroyed ; 
thus was the protracted happiness of Long- 
reign shortened, and the lovely reign of Beauti- 
ful deformed. Thus were the light hearts of 
the people made sad ; for misery and bloodshed 
reigned, and the invisible world was peopled 
with men from our earth. Let us all grasp 
firmly the good we now enjoy, lest the peaceful 
reign of Jesus should end, and the days of 
darkness and bloodshed return." 

It appears that some of the officers of the 
Seringapatam were rather sceptical as to the 
capability of the native speakers to compose the 
addresses which they delivered ; and even 
asserted that they were mere parrots, repeating 
only what I had taught them, and moreover, 
that they believed in Christianity solely because 
the Missionaries had assured them of its truth. 
Others, however, maintained that they were 
not deficient either in good sense or scriptural 
knowledge. In order to decide the question, 
early the next morning Captain Waldegrave, 
the Rev. Mr. Watson the chaplain, and other 
gentlemen called at my house. After a little 
consideration, I suggested that the more satis- 
factory method of forming a correct opinion 
would be for them to favour us with their com- 
pany to tea, when I would introduce twelve or 
fifteen of our people, who, I was assured, 
would feel happy in replying to any questions 
that might be proposed to them. The propo- 
sition met with their approval, and, after tea, 
fifteen natives came into the room and took 
their seats. 

I then informed them that the gentlemen 
present were desirous of ascertaining the extent 
of their knowledge upon some important 
topics, and for this purpose would propose to 
them a few questions. Captain Waldegrave 
then asked, " Do you believe that the Bible is 
the word of God, and that Christianity is of 
Divine origin 1" The natives were rather 
startled at this question, having never enter- 
tained a doubt upon that point. At length 
one replied, " Most certainly we do. We look 
at the power with which it has been attended 
in effecting the entire overthrow of idolatry 
amongst us, and which, we believe, no human 
means could have induced us to abandon." 
The same question being proposed to a second, 
he replied, " I believe the Scriptures to be of 
Divine origin, on account of the system of sal- 
vation they reveal. We had a religion before, 
transmitted to us by our ancestors, whom we 
considered the wisest of men; but how dark 
and black a system that was, compared with 
the bright scheme of salvation presented in the 
Bible % Here we learn that we are sinners ; 



that God gave his own Son Jesus Christ to die 
for us ; and that, through believing, the salva- 
tion he procured becomes ours. Now, what 
but the wisdom of God could have devised such 
a system as this 1 ?" The question being re- 
peated to an old priest, then a devoted Chris- 
tian, instead of replying at once, he held up 
his hands, and rapidly moved the joints of 
his wrist and ringers ; he then opened and shut 
his mouth, and closed these singular actions by 
raising his leg, and moving it in various direc- 
tions. Having done this, he said, " See, I 
have hinges all over me : if the thought grows 
in my heart that I wish to handle anything, the 
hinges in my hands enable me to do so : if I 
want to utter any thing, the hinges to my jaws 
enable me to say it ; and if I desire to go any- 
where, here are hinges to ray legs to enable me 
to walk. Now," continued he, " I perceive 
great wisdom in the adaptation of my body to 
the various wants of my mind ; and when I 
look into the Bible, and see there proofs of 
wisdom which correspond exactly with those 
which appear in my frame, I conclude that the 
Maker of my body is the Author of that book." 
Another replied to the question by saying, "I 
believe the Bible to have come from God, be- 
cause it contains prophecies which have been 
exactly fulfilled." 

Captain W. then inquired " who the prophets 
were V Native. " Persons inspired of God to 
foretell events ages before they occurred." 

Captain. " Can you name any of them 1" 

Native. " Yes Samuel, David, Isaiah, Daniel, 
Jonah, and many others." 

Captain. " You have mentioned Isaiah : can 
you tell me any of his prophecies?" 

Native. " O, yes ; he was the prophet who 
wrote so much about our Lord and Saviour, and 
who said that he should be numbered with the 
transgressors ; and we know that Christ was 
crucified between two thieves. There was the 
prophecy and its fulfilment." 

A variety of questions were then put respect- 
ing Jonah and other prophets ; after which one 
of the natives observed, that many of the types 
were prophecies of Christ. These then became 
the topic of conversation ; in the course of 
which allusion was made to the brazen serpent ; 
and Captain W., after examining them upon the 
historical circumstances connected with that type, 
inquired to whom it applied 1 ? 

Native. " To Christ ; for he himself said, 
' As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder- 
ness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted 
up.' " 

Reference was then made to the paschal 
lamb ; and questions upon the history of that 
type having been replied to, the Captain asked 
wherein that applied to Jesus Christ 1 ? to which 
a native answered, " A bone of the paschal lamb 
might not be broken ; and in the nineteenth 
chapter of the Gospel of John we read, that the 
soldiers came and brake the legs of those who 
were crucified with Jesus ; but when they came 
to him, and saw that he was already dead, they 
brake not his legs; for the Scripture saith, 'A 
bone of him shall not be broken.' " 

After this, questions were proposed upon the 
leading doctrines of Christianity, and, when we 
arrived at the doctrine of the resurrection, they 
were asked, "With what body shall we be 
raisd %" In reply to this, those beautiful verses of 
the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corin- 
thians were immediately quoted : " It is sown in 
corruption ; it is raised in incorruption," &c. The 
Captain rejoined that what they had said was 
very good; but still he wished them to be a 
little more explicit, and to give him some idea 
of the body with which we should arise. This 
occasioned considerable consultation among 
them : but at length one exclaimed, " I have it, 
St. John, in his 1st Epistle, the 3rd chapter, 
says, that ' when he shall appear, we shall be 
like him.' Our bodies will then be like Christ's." 
The Captain still pressed the question ; when, 
after another consultation, a native replied, 
" Being like Christ cannot mean being like his 
body when it hung upon the cross, but it must 
mean being like to his glorious body when he 
was transfigured upon the mount." At the 
conclusion of these interrogations, a copy of the 
New Testament was passed round, and opened 
indiscriminately; when each was desired to 
read a verse, and reply to questions on its 
import and connexion. 

This interview lasted upwards of three hours ; 
and at the conclusion the gentlemen expressed 
themselves highly gratified ; and Captain W., 
assured the natives that, if he returned in safety 
to England, he should not fail to inform his 
countrymen of what he had seen and heard ; 
and I am happy to add that he has done so, on 
various occasions, in the most favourable manner. 
I think I may also affirm, that the questions 
were proposed, not with the design to perplex, 
but to obtain accurate information as to the 
extent of knowledge which our converts pos- 
sessed ; and I deem it right also to state, that I 
am not conscious of having assisted them, on 
that occasion, by a single hint, but that I acted 
solely as interpreter. 

And here I may observe, that, had Captain 
Beechy of the Blossom condescended to adopt 
the same means of obtaining correct information, 
he would not have penned the following para- 
graph : 

" Ignorance of the language prevented my 
obtaining any correct information as to the 
progress that had been made generally towards 
a knowledge of the Scriptures by those who 
were converted ; but my impression was, and I 
find by the journals of my officers it was theirs 
also, that it was very limited, and that few 
understood the simplest parts of it. Many cir- 
cumstances induced me to believe that they con- 
cidered their religious books in the same light 
as they did their household gods," &c. 

The Honourable Captain Waldegrave, Captain 
Laws, and other gentlemen, were equally igno- 
rant of the language, but they employed the 
method which common sense dictated to supply 
that deficiency ; and the result was, as might 
have been expected, that they obtained more 
correct information 

The visit of Captain Lord Byron to the Sand- 



wich Islands appears to have been equally 
beneficial with that of Captain Waldegrave to 
the Society group. In reference to the former, 
the American Missionaries, when writing to the 

Secretary of the London Missionary Society, 
observe : 

" The visit of Lord Byron has, we believe, 
been exceedingly pleasing to the people ; and 
we are very happy to say that he has performed 
a truly honourable part in his interview with 
the chiefs, and also with the mission. 

" The affability, the kindness, and amiable 
deportment he has uniformly manifested, has 
been much admired, and has not only gained 
him many personal friends, but done great credit 
to his country. You will be gratified to know 
that, at the national council, held here but re- 
cently, he very distinctly approved of the atten- 
tion of the natives to the instructions of the 
Missionaries, and assured the chiefs that they 
ought to feel grateful for the important benefits 
they had received through the instrumentality 
of their Christian teachers." 


Sail for the Navigators' Islands Touch at the Hervey 
Group Mangaia Native Service War between the 
Christians anil Heathens Usages cf the Mangaians in 
War The Author's Advice solicited upon various topics 
Female Degradation New Chapel opened Last 
Visit to Mangaia ltemarkable Providence War pre- 

In about a week or ten days after the Seringa- 
patam sailed, the Messenger of Peace was ready 
for sea; and, after getting the teachers onboard, 
we took an affectionate leave of our dear wives 
and children, spread our sails, glided through 
the reef, and with excited feelings, launched 
upon the deep. When we contemplated the 
length of the voyage, the probable dangers to 
which we should be exposed, the protracted 
period of separation from our dear families, and 
the possibility that we might fall victims to the 
ferocity of the heathen, we naturally experienced 
some anxiety. The plan, however, had been 
sketched, the subject had been considered in 
all its bearings, and had received the unqualified 
approbation of our judgment ; our feelings there- 
fore were made to yield, and we pursued our 
adventurous way, encouraged by the remem- 
brance of the gracious protection which had 
hitherto been afforded us, and the abundant 
success that had crowned our former efforts. 
The present undertaking, we concluded, might 
be attended with results equally beneficial, and 
still more extensive ; which we well knew 
would amply compensate for all our labour and 
fears. There were with us seven teachers, and 
we intended to augment the number from the 
Hervey Islands, which we proposed to visit on 
our way. We cleared the harbour on Monday, 
the 24th of May, 1830. After touching at 
Porapora, and spending a day with Mr. and 
Mrs. Piatt and family, we shaped our course for 
the Hervey group ; and, in four or five days, 
we reached in safety the Isiand of 


Arriving off the settlement, about ten o'eloek 
on Sabbath evening, we apprised our friends of 
the circumstance, by firing a small cannon ; on 
hearing which they kindled fires in answer to 
our signal, and as beacons to us during the 
night. Early the next morning we hastened 
on shore ; and as we approached we could not 
but admire the pleasant situation selected for 
the settlement, it being a sloping hill on the 
western side of the island, which gradually rose 
from the shore. The large chapel in the centre 
formed a conspicuous and interesting object, 
whilst the neat white cottages of the native 
Christians, stretching along to the right and 
left, and partially hid by the banana-groves, 
among which they stood, gave variety and ani- 
mation to the scene. The teachers' dwellings, 
we were delighted to find, were neat and 
respectable, the yard was paved with white 
pebbles, and the whole was enclosed within a 
good fence. An excellent road had been formed 
through the settlement, on each side of which 
stood the native cottages. On being conducted 
to the house of the principal chief, we found a 
baked pig, smoking hot, upon a table-cloth of 
leaves, with a liberal supply of yams, taro, and 
other vegetables, awaiting our arrival. Having 
made a hearty meal, the chief presented us with a 
small quantity of native cloth, as an expression 
of the pleasure he felt in receiving under his 
roof persons from a far country, who had brought 
him the word of salvation. 

We had no sooner returned to the houses of 
the teachers, than the whole of the professors 
of Christianity were introduced to us; every 
one bearing a small present of native cloth or 
food, and giving us a welcome by a hearty shake 
of the hand. 

We were delighted with the appearance they 
presented ; the females being dressed in beauti- 
fully white cloth, which Faaruea, the teacher's 
wife from Raiatea, had taught them to make, 
and in bonnets of then own manufacture ; whilst 
the men wore their native tiputas, with the 
addition of a straw hat. In the afternoon we 
held a public service, when about eight hundred 
were present, many of whom were still heathen ; 
and these presented a striking contrast to the 
Christian part of the community, having long 
beards and long hair, and being dressed with all 
the fantastic wildness of heathen taste. They 
behaved, however, with decorum, while I 
preached to them from my favourite text, " This 
is a faithful saying, and worthy of all accepta- 
tion," &c. As their language bears a close 
affinity to the Rarotongan, I addressed them in 
that dialect. The congregation sang most lustily, 
and, although we could not admire the harmony of 
their music, the energy with which they exerted 
their lungs was gratifying, for they endeavoured 
to compensate for the absence of harmonic 
sounds, by the hearty manner in which they 
raised their sonorous and powerful voices. 
Before daybreak the following morning, we 
were awoke by the chit-chat of a number of 
persona outside the house, who, it appears, had 



brought their mats, and slept on them under 
our bed-room windows, in order to be near us. 
Faaruea and his wife, teachers whom I had 
originally intended for the Navigator group, 
had, at the earnest solicitation of the inhabi- 
tants, been left by Mr. Piatt at this island, until 
we should call for them. To these the chiefs 
and people had, by this time, formed so strong 
an attachment, especially the women to the wife 
of Faaruea, that the heathen universally united 
with the Christians in entreating that I would 
allow them to remain. Unable to resist their 
importunity, and convinced that it was wiser to 
take good care of stations already formed, than 
to neglect them in order to extend our labours, 
I consented to their request, although I was 
grieved at losing so valuable a labourer from the 
Navigators' Island mission. 

It will be recollected that, on our first visit, 
the teachers' wives met with such rude treat- 
ment, that we were obliged to abandon our 
intention of leaving them, and also that, on our 
return home, we took the first opportunity of 
sending two single men to commence the work 
of instruction among this wild and violent 
people. I have already given an account of 
the Providence that had prepared the way 
before them, and the kind reception with which 
they consequently met. Tiere, one of these, 
died about two years and a half after his arrival ; 
to him the people were strongly attached, and 
would, in all probability, have soon embraced 
the truth, had his life been prolonged ; his death, 
therefore, was a great loss to the mission. The 
good work, however, had proceeded gradually 
since that period, so that, on our arrival, we 
found five hundred persons enjoying the bless- 
ings of Christian instruction. 

We were grieved to hear from the teachers 
that they had suffered much annoyance from 
the heathen, who frequently came on the Sab- 
bath and performed their dances and games, in 
contempt of the Christians, near the place where 
they were accustomed to worship. They were 
also kept in a continual state of distressing 
anxiety by the repeated threats of the heathen 
to burn their houses, murder their teacher, and 
"make use of his skull as a drinking-cup."* 
This led to a disastrous conflict, which termi- 
nated in favour of the Christians ; they losing 
three, and the idolaters eighteen or twenty of 
their number. It appears to have been a very 
hard-contested battle ; for, contrary to the 
general usage in the islands, the people of 
Mangaia do not practise bush-fighting, but meet 
in an open plain, from which every shelter is 
removed. They then arrange themselves in 
rows four deep. The first is armed with long 
spears ; the second with clubs, to defend the 
spearmen ; the third is composed of young men 
with slings, the stones for which are all made 
round and smooth ; and the fourth row consists 
of women. These not only carry baskets of stones 
and weapons with which to supply the warriors, 
but they also attack the enemy while engaged 
with their husbands ; and it appears, by various 
accounts which I received, that they are exceed- 
* A native curse. 

ingly fierce. The young chief of a neighbouring 
island, who was present at this conflict, informed 
me that, while in the heat of the battle, he was 
greatly annoyed by the fury Avith which the wife 
of his antagonist assailed him. He exclaimed, 
" Woman, desist ! I am not come to fight with 
women !" She vociferated in a frantic manner, 
" If you kill my husband, what must I do 1" 
and immediately threw a stone, which struck 
him on the head, and felled him to the ground ; 
and, had it not been for the prompt assistance 
of his own people, he would have lost his life 
by the hands of her husband. 

I was distressed at hearing that, contrary to 
what had taken place in other islands, some of 
the Christian party had acted with great cruelty 
towards their enemies, by hewing them in 
pieces while they were begging for mercy. I 
account for this barbarity from the existence of 
the ono, or systematic revenge, which prevailed 
so universally through the whole of the islands 
of the Pacific Ocean ; for most probably one of 
their relatives had been killed or injured by the 
person then in their power, or by some of his 
family; and it was a legacy bequeathed from father 
to son to avenge that injury, even if an oppor- 
tunity did not occur until the third or fourth gene- 
ration. This circumstance also shows that, al- 
though Christianity is embraced, the savage 
disposition cannot, in all cases, be entirely eradi- 
cated in a few months. Instead, therefore, of ex- 
pressing astonishment at this solitary instance of 
brutality, we should rather wonder that so little 
has been shown in the islands generally since the 
introduction of Christianity. Had the Christians 
of Mangaia imitated the conduct of the chiefs and 
people of Tahiti and the Society Islands, in the 
exercise of mercy and kindness, in all probability 
the heathen party would not have resisted, for 
so many years, every effort to bring them under 
the influence of the Gospel. 

In a meeting held with the Christians, our 
advice was solicited upon several topics ; among 
which was "rat-eating." As Mangaia was not 
so abundantly supplied with fish as at some 
other islands, and as there were no animals 
except rats until I visited it, these formed a 
common article of food ; and the natives said 
they were exceedingly " sweet and good :" 
indeed, a common expression with them when 
speaking of anything delicious was, " It is as 
sweet as a rat." They find no difficulty in 
catching them in great numbers, which they do 
in many ways, but principally by digging a hole, 
and strewing in it a quantity of candle-nut, 
aleurites, and when a sufficient number of rats 
were in the hole they drew a net over it and 
secured them all. Having obtained as many 
as they wish, they singe the hair off on hot stones, 
wrap them up in leaves, and bake them. Saturday 
was their principal rat-catching day, as they 
were desirous of having " animal food " to eat 
with their cold vegetables on the Sabbath. 
They now wished to know our opinion as to 
whether it was sinful to eat them. I informed 
them that we were in the habit of looking upon 
rats as exceedingly disgusting ; but, not perceiv- 
ing anything morally evil in the practice, I could 



do no more than recommend them to take great 
care of the pigs and goats I had brought, by which 
means they would speedily obtain an abundant 
supply of " animal food," far superior to that 
which they esteemed so "sweet and good." 

Another subject presented for our considera- 
tion was the employment of the females. The 
taro, a>~um esculentum, which forms a staple 
article of food at most of the islands, is generally 
cultivated in swampy places ; and the work of 
planting and keeping the taro-beds in order is 
assigned to girls under sixteen years of age, and 
to women who have passed the prime of life. 
Ladies are seldom seen in these plantations 
until their beauty begins to fade, when they are 
required to return to their "occupation," and 
wade for hours in mud from two to three feet 
deep. The wife of the native teacher, intent 
upon the elevation of her sex, requested, through 
the medium of her husband, my opinion of this 
practice. Through her representations I was 
induced to plead for their emancipation with all 
the eloquence I could command, and the result 
was an agreement that in future they should not 
be compelled to do this " dirty work." This 
decision gave them much joy ; and, in commemo- 
ration of the event, they prepared on the follow- 
ing day a sumptuous feast, at which four or five 
hundred sat down, and to which I was invited. 
Not a rat was seen on the table ;* but pigs roasted 
whole, fish of various kinds, and a profusion of 
vegetables, with aqua pura from the spring, and 
cocoa-nut water, constituted the repast. 

After having spent several days in this island, 
preaching to the people, visiting the heathen 
chiefs, attending the schools, and giving advice 
and instructions to the teachers, we prepared 
for our departure, thankful for what had been 
effected, and encouraged to believe that a copious 
shower of blessings would ultimately descend 
upon the inhabitants of this beautiful island. 

When I next visited Mangaia, in 1831, I was 
accompanied by my excellent brother Mr. Buza- 
cott, and Makea, the king of Rarotonga. We 
found that a large new place of worship had been 
erected, and that the people were anxiously 
waiting for us to open it. It was a fine. building, 
of an oval shape, about one hundred and twenty 
feet in length. The large posts which supported 
the roof, eight in number, the ridge pole, and 
the rafters, were most beautifully carved, and 
tastefully coloured with various native prepara- 
tions. It is impossible, however, so to describe 
them as to enable the reader to form a correct 
idea of their appearance, or of the taste and in- 
genuity displayed in their execution. These 
posts are twenty-five feet high, and from twelve 
to eighteen inches square ; and when we consi- 
der the tools with which the work was done, 
which were principally old nails, pieces of iron 
hoop, and a few chisels, the hardness of the wood, 
and the depth of the carving, we were amazed 
both at the patience and skill of the native arti- 
ficers. The effect, on entering the place, was 
exceedingly striking. On the following day, a 
congregation assembled to the number of fifteen 

* That is, not a baked one ; there were plenty of live 
ones running about in all directions. 
No. 5. 

or sixteen hundred persons. Mr. Buzacott read 
a portion of Scripture, and engaged in prayer ; 
after which I addressed them from Haggai ii. 7, 
" I will fill this house with my glory, saith the 
Lord of hosts." Many of the heathen attended, 
and those who were not able to gain admittance 
crowded round the doors and windows. These 
were very decorous in their behaviour ; and 
when addressed upon the value of salvation, and 
earnestly invited to come and worship the God 
whose house they had assisted in erecting, they 
appeared to listen with great attention. 

Finding that vast numbers were still obstinate 
in their resolution to remain in heathen dark- 
ness, we determined to visit them at their own 
respective districts, and speak to them upon the 
momentous concerns of their souls and eternity. 
After a pleasant walk over a mountain, and 
across a beautiful valley, around which the huts 
of the natives were erected, we arrived at the 
chiefs house. He received us with great respect, 
and immediately despatched a messenger to in- 
vite, or rather to desire, the people to assemble. 
They instantly obeyed the summons ; and in a 
short time two or three hundred were convened, 
who were dressed most fantastically. The females 
wore wreaths of entwined leaves and ornamen- 
tal flowers of varied hue, with necklaces of ber- 
ries, while their persons were profusely anointed 
with scented oil. The men also had expended 
their ingenuity in decorating their persons. To 
this company the truths of the Gospel, together 
with the present and future advantages of em- 
bracing it, were explained with the greatest pos- 
sible simplicity, and they were urged to an im- 
mediate acceptance of proffered mercy : especially 
the chief, who was an old man, and who was 
informed that death would very soon remove 
him out of this world to another, in which his 
eternal doom would be unalterably fixed. They 
behaved with decorum, listened with attention, 
and promised to remember what had been said, 
but declined an immediate acceptance of our 
invitation. The chief expressed his obligation 
for the honour conferred upon him by our visit, 
and again assured us that he would seriously 
consider what he had heard ; and, although we 
feared that little permanent impression had been 
made, we proceeded to the next district, with 
the satisfaction of knowing that bread-corn had 
been cast upon the waters, which would be 
found after many days. 

Passing over another high hill, and across 
another fertile valley, we arrived at the house of 
the principal chief, when we were informed that 
he, with the greater number of his people, had 
gone to the Christian settlement to see us. We 
therefore hastened home ; and, on our arrival, 
were delighted to find the old man and his party 
in company with Makea and the Rarotongan 
Christians, who were exhorting them to become 
worshippers of the true God, and to seek that 
salvation which is only to be obtained by be- 
lieving on the Lord Jesus Christ. Being in- 
formed that Mr. B. and myself had been to his 
district, for the purpose of conversing with him 
upon the same important subjects he was evi- 
dently much pleased ; and, like Agrippa of old, 


" was almost persuaded to become a Christian." 
Finding him and his people in such good hands, 
we thought it wise, after saying a few words, to 
retire, and leave them to the merciful violence 
with which the Christians of Rarotonga would 
persuade them to embrace the truth ; and I be- 
lieve they slept but little during the night ; for 
when, at twelve o'clock, we stretched ourselves 
on our mats to rest our weary limbs, neither the 
zeal of our companions nor the interest of the 
listening heathen appeared in any measure to 
have abated. 

After spending several interesting and labo- 
rious days at Mangaia, in visiting the heathen 
settlements, preaching to the people, and exa- 
mining the school-children, we departed, hoping 
and praying for the blessing of Him, " who alone 
giveth the increase." 

Without noticing my several subsequent visits 
to this island, which were similar in their cha- 
racter and results to those I have already de- 
scribed, I shall proceed to speak of my last, which 
was made under peculiar circumstances, and at- 
tended with very important consequences. In 
the latter end of 1833 I left Rarotonga for Atiu, 
Aituiaki, and other islands. Pa and Tinomana, 
chiefs of Rarotonga, were with me on that occa- 
sion, beside many other natives whom I was 
conveying to their respective homes. The wind 
being contrary for several days we could make 
no progress ; and, having so many people on 
board, our provisions failed; I was therefore 
compelled to run for the nearest island, which 
was Mangaia, then distant about seventy or 
eighty miles. We reached it on the following 
day ; but, to our astonishment, no canoes came 
off to bid us welcome ; and I concluded that the 
native Missionaries had lost their reckoning, 
and were keeping the Monday for the Sabbath. 
At length, however, a canoe approached us, 
having in it but a solitary individual. On his 
reaching the ship, I inquired what had become 
of the people, and why they had not put off as 
usual ; when he informed me that it was a day 
of fasting and prayer ; for the heathens were 
about to make an attack upon them on the fol- 
lowing morning. Shortly after this the teachers 
came on board, from whom I obtained correct 
information of the state of the island ; and found 
that, of late, the Christians had been exceed- 
ingly zealous for the conversion of their heathen 
brethren ; and had, with this intent, tried many 
plans, which were rejected with taunts and in- 
sults. The Christians, bent upon the accom- 
plishment of their object, had determined to 
make a tour of the island, and to endeavour 
to bring in at least one convert each. The 
heathen party, hearing of this, and suspecting 
that the Christians intended to come and take 
them by force, resolved to anticipate their visit 
by a formidable attack upon their settlement. 
For some time many exasperating reports were 
carried from the one to the other, by which 
both parties were inflamed, and the island kept 
in a state of continual ferment. When I heard 
this, and found that the attack was to be made 
on the following day, I perceived who had sent 
the foul wind, and for what purpose I was con- 

ducted to Mangaia ; and, after humbling my- 
self before God, for having "in my haste" been 
angry with the wind, I determined immediately 
to visit every heathen settlement in the island. 
Taking with me the three chiefs from Rarotonga, 
we stepped into the canoe, dashed over the reef 
upon the crest of a curling billow, and landed 
at an uninhabited part of the island. Our walk 
was particularly fatiguing, being several miles 
along a very rugged coral beach, with the 
piercing rays of the mid-day sun beating upon 
us from above, and their glare reflected from 
the sea on the one side, and from the rocks on 
the other. We then ascended the eliff, which 
was about a hundred and fifty or two hundred 
feet in height, walked over a flat surface of 
rocks, broken fragments of coral, and other ma- 
rine substances, and again descended into a 
most beautiful valley, the sides of which were 
far more precipitous and romantic than those 
toward the sea. Having crossed this valley, 
ascended another hill, and entered a second 
beautiful vale, we reached the dwelling of the 
first heathen chief, who, we found, had received 
intimation of our approach, and was prepared 
to meet us with ceremony and respect. He 
was a tine young man, of fair complexion and 
open countenance, and, like most of his bretnren, 
of very commanding aspect. 1 introduced the 
Rarotonga chiefs to him, and then stated that 
the object of my visit was to advise and request 
him not to unite with those who intended to 
attack the Christians on the following day. To 
this he readily assented. I then spoke to him 
about his soul, and the desirableness of placing 
himself under Christian instruction ; to all of 
which he replied, Reka ke e te taeake; " De- 
lightful! exceedingly pleased am I, my bro- 

Each of the Rarotonga chiefs then addressed 
him. One gave an account of the introduction 
of Christianity into their island, and another 
pointed out the blessings they were now en- 
joying. Tinomana stated, that he was formerly 
a conquered chief, and, with his oppressed peo- 
ple, lived in the mountains, but that he now 
possessed .a large settlement of beautiful white 
houses by the sea-side, with a spacious chapel 
in the centre, and a Missionary of Jesus Christ 
to teach him. " My people," said he, " can 
now go to the sea to catch fish, or to the 
mountains to procure food, without the slightest 
fear ; and we are enjoying a state of peace and 
happiness, of which, formerly, we never heard." 
One of them concluded his beautiful address, by 
stepping forward, and seizing the heathen chief 
by the hand, and exclaiming, " Rise, brother, 
tear off the garb of Satan, and become a man of 
God !" I think, if ever I felt the thrilling influ- 
ence of what is termed the sublime, it was at that 
moment. The unaffected dignity of the action, 
the nobleness of the sentiment, together with 
the holy energy and persuasiveness of his man- 
ner, produced feelings which I cannot describe. 
The effect, however, on the mind of the heathen 
chief was not so powerful as might have been 
wished ; for he stated to us, in reply that, while 
he was delighted with the honour conferred 



upon him, he was so connected with his hrother 
chiefs, that he was scarcely at liberty to act 
without them; and requesting us to see them 
all before we pressed him for a reply to our pro- 
position, he promised " to think well over again" 
what he had heard. 

Wishing to see the principal chief that night, 
we passed by the other inferior ones, and, cross- 
ing three other hills and valleys, we at length 
arrived, fatigued and panting, at the residence 
of Maunganui. He also had received infor- 
mation of our approach ; and, adorned with his 
heathen trappings, came to the back part of the 
house ; and, having beckoned me away from my 
party he took me by the hand, and said, 
" Friend, have you any axes V I replied in 
the affirmative. He then wished to know if 
I had brought any for him ; and, on learning 
that I had not, he inquired whether the Chris- 
tians had prevented me. I informed him that 
my business related to matters of far greater im- 
portance than axes, and that we must take our 
seats, and commence at once. Squatting down 
upon the mats spread for us upon a broad pave- 
ment of stones in front of the house, and re- 
galed with the breezes which came loaded with 
the fragrance of the blossoms of the chestnut 
and other trees, we refreshed ourselves with a 
delicious draught of cocoa-nut water out of the 
bottle in which it grew, and proceeded to the 
consideration of the business upon which I had 
come. Addressing the chief, I expressed my 
regret that he, with so many of his brethren, 
still refused the invaluable blessings of Chris- 
tianity ; but was yet more grieved to find that, on 
the following day, they were about to make 
war upon the Christians, which it was the im- 
mediate object of my visit to prevent. He re- 
plied, that he was truly glad that I had come, 
and that my arrival was most opportune. He 
had been informed, that the opposite party in- 
tended to take him by force and make him a 
Christian ; and, not being inclined to yield, 
he had determined to fight ; but since I had 
come for the purpose of dissuading him from 
so doing, he would lay aside all thoughts of 
war. We then pressed upon him the import- 
ant subject of religion, and wished him to ac- 
company us to the Christian settlement, and 
place himself under the instruction of the teach- 
ers. To this he said he would consent imme- 
diately if I would make him king ; assuring me 
that the supremacy was originally his father's. 
I informed him that, if Christianity had found 
him in the possession of supremacy, it would 
have acknowledged him as supreme ;* but, as 
that was not the case, it was not my business 
to depose one chief and set up another ; and if 
this was the only condition on which he could 
be induced to embrace the true Saviour, he 
must live and die a heathen, and his soul be 
lost for ever. My companions spoke to him 
faithfully and affectionately, but he appeared to 
remain steadfast to his purpose. 

Supremacy in this island is little more tlan nominal 
power, being invested in the Kai tapere (district eaters, 
or heads of districts). The chief authority, I think, wa 
originally held in connexion with a religious office. 

Supper was then prepared for us, which con- 
sisted of a pig, yams, and taro. We seated 
ourselves around our table-cloth of fresh plucked 
leaves, and, with a cocoa-nut shell of sea-water, 
as a substitute for mustard, salt, and sauce, we 
enjoyed our feast exceedingly. 

The meal being ended, I gave an address to 
the people, read a portion of Scripture, and en- 
gaged in prayer, during which the heathen 
were exceedingly attentive. We sat up till 
midnight, conversing upon important topics, 
and persuading the deluded people to receive 
the truth. The chiefs wife, in particular, 
awakened our sympathy by stating that she 
had long wished to become a Christian, because 
when she compared herself with the Christian 
females, she was much ashamed, for they had 
bonnets, and beautiful white garments, while 
she was dressed in " Satan's clothes :" they 
could sing and read, while she was in ignorance. 
She also expressed pity for her children, who 
were uninstructed in many interesting things 
which the Christian children knew ; and she 
wished much, if her husband would not allow 
her to become a Christian, that he would send 
the children to our settlement. Overcome with 
fatigue and sleep from the labours of the day, 
we spread our mats on the grass floor ; where I 
should have enjoyed a sound and refreshing 
night's rest, had not the heathen chief spread 
his mat so near to mine, that several times dur- 
ing the night I was awoke, by finding my head 
and face enveloped in his long hair, which was 
not only annoying, but calculated, also, to ex- 
cite some little alarm. We arose at day-break, 
and, after a short address and prayer, took our 
leave of this chief and his people, with no other 
satisfaction than that of having prevented the 
anticipated war, and of having spoken faith- 
fully upon the momentous concerns of salva- 
tion. At other places which we visited on our 
return we were more successful ; for, at the 
first settlement we reached, the old chief and 
his brother, having been informed of our in- 
tention to visit them, had not only an oven of 
food awaiting our arrival, but had determined 
to accompany us, and embrace the Gospel. With 
that intention, as soon as I was comfortably 
seated, the chieftain came, and putting his head 
on my knees, said, " Begin." I inquired what 
I was to begin, when he replied, " to cut off 
my hair, to be sure."* I informed him that 
I was not skilful in that art, neither had I my 
scissors with me ; but that we should find all 
that was needed at the settlement. Accom- 
panied by these two veterans in Satan's service, 
we proceeded to the next district, where we 
were treated with respect and heard with atten- 
tion, although not cheered by any present suc- 
cess. At length we reached the residence of 
the most powerful and influential district chief. 
He received us with great cordiality, had a 
large portion of food prepared, and sent for the 
neighbouring chiefs and people ; to the former 

* The heathen wear very long hair; and, as the Chris- 
tians cut theirs short, to cut their hair had become a 
kind of lir=t step in renouncing heathenism; and, when 
speaking of any person having renounced idolatry, the 
current expr*ssion was. " Such an one has cut his hair." 

F 2 



of whom, seven in number, I was ceremoniously 
introduced. Taking them by the hand, I stated 
the object of my visit to each. After some con- 
sultation among themselves, the principal chief 
addressed me, and said, they would prefer that 
all the heathen should become Christians toge- 
ther ; and that they would hold a meeting, as 
soon as possible, to consider the subject. If, 
however, that could not be accomplished, they 
would then dissolve the covenant now existing 
between the chiefs, that each might follow his 
own inclinations. At the same time they en- 
treated me to remain with them until Saturday, 
as they thought that my presence would mate- 
rially affect their deliberations. " In the mean 
time," he said, " we who are now present, do 
give permission to any of our people who feel 
disposed to accompany you to the settlement, 
and place themselves under instruction." On 
hearing this, several immediately came forward, 
and expressed their intention to take advantage 
of the permission thus given. The moment 
they had avowed their determination, the hea- 
then commenced a most dismal howling, and 
clung around those who were about to leave 
them, kissing them and weeping over them as 
though they were about to be slain. This 
weeping and wailing had scarcely concluded, 
when we were attracted by a burst from another 
quarter. It appeared that one of the Rarotonga 
Christians, in his address to the heathen party, 
grew warm, and expressed himself with great 
energy ; which excited the fears of the chief 
that force was about to be used to compel him 
to accompany us. This produced in him great 
agitation ; on perceiving which, his two daugh- 
ters, who were fine young women, about 
eighteen or twenty years of age, rushed in, tore 
their hair, fell upon his neck, and, with frantic 
gesticulations, in the most piteous and heart- 
rending tones, bewailed the affliction which 
was about to come upon their father. I endea- 
voured to pacify them, by assuring them that 
nothing of the kind was intended ; that we 
were few in number compared with them ; that 
we had no weapons but our tongues ; and that 
we were in their power rather than they in 

Taking our leave, and accompanied by eight 
or ten heathen families, we hastened to the 
Christian settlement, where we arrived in safety, 
after a long and heavy walk : for the rain had 
descended during the night, and made the 
clayey hills so slippery, that, notwithstanding 
the assistance of two stout men, I had several 
falls. On our arrival we found the congregation 
waiting for us ; when, after scraping off a little 
of the dirt, washing my shoes, and turning my 
clay-dyed stockings inside out, I hastened to 
the chapel, and addressed about sixteen hun- 
dred people, many of whom were heathen. 

As the wind had become fair, and as there 
was no anchorage for the ship, I could not con- 
veniently remain until Saturday. I therefore 
sent a present of an axe to each of the chiefs, 
with a pair of scissors and some ribbon for their 
wives and daughters ; and arranged that the 
native teachers, instead of ourselves, should 

meet tbcm on the following Saturday. The 
result of this meeting was the dissolution of the 
league, and the removal of the greater part of 
the heathen to the Christian settlement. The 
stragglers that lingered for awhile behind gra- 
dually followed ; so that by the last communi- 
cations I find there are now very few, if any, 
idolaters remaining. Thus, after ten years' 
patient and persevering effort, God was pleased, 
by a contrary wind, to effect this long-wished- 
for object, and in this way to secure all the 
glory to himself. 

The productions of Mangaia are the same as 
those of the other islands. The sugar-cane, 
however, is particularly fine. Their idolatry 
and idolatrous practices vary but little from 
those of their neighbours. The only natural 
curiosity I discovered was a cavern upon the top 
of one of the hills, which was entered by two 
comparatively small apertures. These, although 
not many yards apart on the top, were thought 
not to communicate. I wished much, on one 
occasion, to have descended ; but the natives 
objected so strongly, lest any accident should 
befall me, that I desisted. I however sounded 
one of them, and found it above a hundred feet 
deep. One of these holes is called Ruatapu, or 
sacred hole ; it being the repository of the dead 
bodies of the chiefs : the other is the general re- 
ceptacle for all. A native from Aitutaki descen- 
ded, and he assured me that the holes not only 
communicated, but that the cavern appeared 
very large ; and that bones innumerable were 
strewed in all directions. 

The formation of some of the rocks and val- 
leys struck me as very peculiar ; the sides of the 
former being quite perpendicular, as though the 
low land had originally been of equal height, but 
had, by some undermining process or concussion 
of nature, sunk from its elevation, leaving these 
rocks as a kind of solid wall, two or three hun- 
dred feet high, to afford protection to the fer- 
tile plain below. The valleys generally con- 
tain from thirty to fifty acres each, and are en- 
tirely laid out in taro plantations. These are gra- 
dually raised above each other, from the lower 
to the upper part of the valley, from whence 
water is conveyed to them in wooden pipes.* 
When I saw the excellent order in which they 
were kept, I ceased to wonder that the men 
wished the females to continue to cultivate 
them, for not a weed was to be seen. 

But the circumstance most worthy of notice 
in this island is the ingenuity of the inhabitants. 
This is displayed in the fabrication and pat- 
terns of their cloth, in the construction of their 
spears, bowls, and other articles : but more es- 
pecially in the exquisite carving of the handles 
of their stone axes. This they effect with a 
regularity, taste, and beauty, which is surprising, 
when it is recollected that the only tools they 
formerly possessed were shark's teeth and shells ; 
and that even now a nail or a sailor's knife is 
the extent of their carving implements. Their 

* Not having the means of boring these pipes, they 
procure hollow trees, which answer the purpose admi- 



cocoa-nut drinking-cups, also, were most of 
them covered with carved or painted figures ; 
and, as soon as they learnt the art of writing, 
they added to these passages of Scripture. I 

think there was not a cup in the king's house, 
which was not thus decorated. Perhaps the 
accompanying plate of the carved axes may give 
the reader a correct idea of their skill. 


Atiu Religious Services there Devotedness of the 
Teachers' Wives The Author's Narrow Escape Dis- 
tressing Situation Fishing Excursion Superb Cavern 
Mauke and Mitiaro A Dreadful Massacre Raro- 
tonga An Epidemic rages Aitutaki Interesting In- 
cidents Native Contributions. 


Leaving Mangaia, we proceeded to this island, 
which, after two days' pleasant sail, we reached 
in safety. 

"VVe received a most cordial welcome from the 
teachers and people, who conducted us to the 
settlement, which occupied an elevated and 
beautiful situation, it being a fine extensive 
plain, upon the top of the mountain which 
forms the body of the island. The dwellings 
are open to the fresh breeze of the sea, of which 
they command a full view on every side ; in- 
deed, the chapel is the first object descried on 
approaching this island. 

On our arrival, we were happy to meet the 
teachers with the principal chiefs and people of 
the neighbouring islands of Mauke and Mitiaro. 
The object of their visit to Atiu was, first, to 

attend the opening of the large new chapel ; 
and secondly, to be present at the marriage of 
Roma-tane, the king, who was about to be 
united to the daughter of the chief of Mauke. 

On the following day we opened the chapel, 
which would accommodate about 1500 people. 
My colleague, Mr. Barff, preached from Ps. 
xcvii. 1, "The Lord reigneth ; let the earth 
rejoice ; let the multitude of isles be glad there- 
of." After this, I administered the Lord's 
Supper, for the first time, to twenty commu- 
nicants, among whom was the chief, who, it will 
be recollected, was so deeply impressed with 
the folly of idolatry, by the representations of 
Isaiah on that subject. I was truly thankful 
to find that he had continued firm in his prin- 
ciples, and consistent in his conduct. Our time 
at this island was most fully occupied, night and 
day, for the people would not allow both my 
colleague and myself to be asleep at the same 
time ; but, as soon as one was overcome, they 
awoke the other ; and in this way we were em- 
ployed, alternately, during the nights, teaching 
them to sing, and explaining to them passages 
of Scripture, which they had noted for that 



The same improvement was apparent in the 
females at this island as at Mangaia through the 
exertions of the wives of the native teachers, 
who were exceedingly devoted women. The 
character of these two females may be illustrated 
by a little incident, which was mentioned to me 
in the course of conversation. From the scarcity 
of fish at this island, the people generally re- 
serve what they catch for their families ; and the 
teachers were therefore obliged to go on the 
Saturday, to procure a supply for the Sabbath. 
This the wives lamented, and told me that, at 
times, their husbands were out from morning 
until night. " You," they said, " resemble 
springs, from which knowledge is always bub- 
bling up ; so that you have nothing but to open 
your mouths and out it flows ; but our husbands 
find difficulty in preparing for the services of 
the Sabbath." To obviate this, they begged I 
would write out some heads of discourses for 
them ; at the same time informing me, that, for 
months past, while their husbands were fishing, 
they took their slates, and, having recalled a 
text, from which they had heard some of the 
Missionaries preach, they endeavoured to re- 
trace the ideas then advanced, and to collect 
parallel passages of Scripture, to illustrate them. 
By these means they had generally a slate full of 
something for their husbands to work from on 
their return. 

In our examination of the school children, 
we were pained to find that only a few of them 
could read. All, however, as well as the adults, 
had committed to memory, most correctly, a long 
and instructive catechism, written by Mr. Ors- 
mond, which contained a comprehensive system 
of divinity, expressed in striking and beautiful 

On my next visit to this island my life and 
labours had nearly terminated. On reaching 
the reefs we peiceived that the sea was not 
breaking with its usual violence, and I therefore 
determined to land in the boat. This was 
effected without much difficulty ; but on return- 
ing, before we could get a sufficient distance 
from the shore, another billow rolled in and 
overwhelmed us, and the boat with her crew 
was dashed upon the reef. Unfortunately, I 
fell toward the sea, and was conveyed by the 
recoil of the wave to a considerable distance 
from the shore, where I was twirled about in a 
whirlpool, and sank to a great depth. Being 
under water, I began to fear that I 
more. At length, however, I 
and, finding there was 
the reef before the next 
swam in that direction. 
On perceiving my situation, two natives sprang 
into the sea, and, as a considerable time elapsed 
before the next billow arrived, I succeeded, by 
their assistance, in escaping its fury. The 
people were standing upon the reef, weeping 
bitterly, under the apprehension that I was lost ; 
and, on reaching the shore, they gathered around 
me, and demonstrated their great joy at my 
preservation, by touching my clothes or kissing 
my hands. Thus, for the sixth time, was I 
rescued from a watery grave. 

The reefs at the water's edge are overhanging 
and shelving, forming hollows and caverns under- 
neath ; and the danger most to be dreaded, is 
that of being forced, by the violence of the 
waves, into these submarine chasms. From 
such a situation escape is impossible. 

Nothing particularly worthy of special notice 
occurred in any of my subsequent vists to Atiu, 

so long 
should rise no 
arose to the surface ; 
time for me to reach 
wave burst upon it, I 

except in the last, at the latter end of 1833. 
On this occasion I was accompanied by Mr. 
Armitage, who was sent out by the London 
Missionary Society some years before, to teach 
the people the art of making cloth from the 
cotton which grows there with great luxuriance * 

While the anxiety of the directors of the Society to 

Mr. A., after making all the efforts which in- 

promote tho industry of the native converts admits of the 
highest commendation, I do not think that it is generally 
desirable to attempt the introduction of complex manu- 
factures among an infant people. A nation in such a 
state should rather lie encouraged to direct its energies to 
the production of the raw material, and to exchange that 
with the mother countries for manufactured articles. 


genuity could devise, or perseverance realize, for 
the accomplishment of his object in the Tahitian 
Islands, and not succeeding, accepted an invita- 
tion from the kincr Makea, seconded by Messrs. 
Pitman and Buzacott, to visit Rarotonga : and, 
as the people of that island did not possess 
articles of barter so abundantly as the Tahitians, 
it was thought by us all that there was a rea- 
sonable prospect of success. Mr. Armitage, 
therefore, generously consented to leave his wife 
and family of ten children, and go for twelve 
months to Rarotonga. Mr. S. Wilson also 
accompanied us. He is a son of our excellent 
brother Missionary, and, I am truly happy to 
say, is devoting himself to the work of preaching 
salvation to the heathen. His good father, 
thinking it might be of advantage to him in the 
future prosecution of his labours, expressed a 
wish that he should accompany me in the 

On the day after our arrival at Atiu a heavy 
gale of wind arose, and, there beingno anchorage, 
our little vesssel was driven out of sight of land ; 
and, as there was no one on board who under- 
stood navigation, I never expected to see her 
again. Day after day we waited and watched, 
with the utmost anxiety, but nothing was 
descried in the surrounding horizon. Saturday 
arrived, and, not having taken a change of 
clothes with ns, ingenuity was racked how to 
get those washed which we wore. The teachers' 
daughters, however, accomplished this exceed- 
ingly well, by using the root of a shrub called 
tutu, which produces a strong lather, equal to 
that of soap, and is a most admirable substitute 
for that valuable article. 

We set apart a portion of every morning, and, 
retired to the chapel for social prayer, to seek 
direction from above in our distressing circum- 
stances ; and I can truly say that we found these 
services seasons of refreshing from the presence 
of our God. After having given up all hope of 
again seeing our vessel, we held a consultation 
as to whether we had better build a boat with 
what materials we could obtain on the island, 
and tail to Rarotonga ; or remain where we 
were. After much deliberation and prayer, we 
concluded that, as a peculiar providence had 
placed us there, it appeared to be the path of 
duty to wait patiently till God, in the exercise of 
the same providence, should afford us the means 
of removal ; and determined to employ our- 
selves as fully as possible for the benefit of the 
people, as this would materially assist in making 
us contented and happy in our painful situation. 
For this purpose Mr. Armitage selected wood 
with which to make spinning-wheels, while I 
made arrangements for the erection of a new 
school-house ; and, just as we had commenced, a 
little boy reported that, in the dusk of the 
evening, he had seen a speck upon the horizon, 
and we waited with no small anxiety for the 
morning's dawn. Long before daylight I was 
upon the brow of the hill ; and when the sun 
arose, I perceived, with feelings of inexpressible 
delight, the object of our solicitude. Our joy, 
however, was awakened principally by the 
consideration that our families would now be 

spared the distressing anxiety which otherwise 
they must have endured for months on our 

On going on board the vessel, all the account 
I could get from the crew was, that the gale 
became so furious during the night, that it had 
blown them away, and in the morning thf.y 
found themselves out of sight of land ; and that, 
after being tossed about for many days, a strong 
wind in the opposite direction had driven them 
back again. The only loss that had been sus- 
tained was the death of one of the calves I was 
conveying to our brethren at Rarotonga. The 
inhabitants of the island wept when they saw 
the vessel, but, unmoved by their tears, we re- 
turned thanks to God for delivering us out of 
our distresses, hoisted our sails, took leave of 
the kind but disappointed people, and pursued 
our voyage. 

During our involuntary residence at Atiu, we 
determined, one night, to accompany the natives 
on a fishing excursion. Flying fish were the 
objects of our pursuit, and these are caught only 
after dark. We arrived at the sea-side about 
eight o'clock. The teachers and their families, 
and indeed most of the inhabitants of the settle- 
ment, were of the party, and brought their sleep- 
ing-mats with an intention of lodging upon the 
sea-shore, while we spent the night in chasing 
the poor fish. With these expeditions many 
idolatrous ceremonies were formerly connected. 
On the present occasion we all knelt down upon 
the coral bank, and one of the natives, accord- 
ing to their usual practice, offered up a suitable 
prayer. The canoes were then dragged from the 
rocks, thirty feet above the level of the water, 
down a broad sloping-ladder, and launched over 
the surf into the sea. Double canoes are 
always used on these occasions, three of which 
formed our expedition. Mr. Armitage was 
seated on one, Mr. Wilson on another, and my- 
self on the third. When the rowers were ready, 
a flambeau was lighted. The principal man 
then took his station on the fore-part of the 
canoe. He was provided with a net, attached 
to a light pole, twelve or fifteen feet long, and 
kept open by a ring of elastic wood, in the shape 
of an ace of spades. Every preparation being 
made, the rowers commenced pulling with all 
their strength, and the headsman stamped upon 
the box of the canoe, which, being hollow, pro- 
duced a considerable sound. This, and the splash- 
ing of the oars, frightened the fish, which darted 
from the back of the reef, where they were 
quietly feeding, towards the ocean. The torches 
answered two purposes ; for, while they en- 
abled the headsman to discover his prey, they 
also dazzled the eyes of the fish ; and, as they 
dashed past his canoe, on the surface of the 
water, he thrust forward his net, and turned 
it over upon them. The quickness of sight 
shown by the natives, and the rapidity and 
dexterity of their motions, were truly astonish- 
ing. At times they catch vast quantities in 
this way. The fish, however, on the night 
we accompanied them, did not happen to be 
numerous ; and at the end of two hours we re- 
turned, having taken but twenty. The other 


canoes were even less successful. On landing, 
every fish was brought and laid at our feet ; and, 
had the canoes been laden, the whole would 
have been at our disposal. We returned to the 
settlement, much gratified with our entertain- 

The natives of Atiu, Mauke, and Mitiaro, have 
a method of smoke-drying the flying fish, by 

which they can preserve them for any length of 
time. I am not aware that at any other islands 
of the Pacific this practice is adopted. They 
have also, with very considerable ingenuity, so 
constructed their canoes, as to be enabled to use 
boat-oars, which they prefer as being far less 
exhausting than their paddles. 

Racked and restless with anxiety, we oc- 

casionally took a ramble about the island ; and 
in the course of one of our walks, mention was 
made by the natives who accompanied us of 
caverns ; and, having found upon inquiry that 
there were several in the island of very large 
dimensions, we determined to visit one of them. 
Taking with us a supply of reeds for flambeaux, 
we ai rived at the mouth of the largest, which is 
called Taketake ; when we descended about 
twenty feet, through a chasm in the rocks, at 
the bottom of which were several majestic open- 
ings. Through one of these we entered, and 
proceeded I suppose a mile, but could discover 
no end to its interminable windings. Innu- 
merable openings presented themselves on all 
sides as we passed along, many of which ap- 
peared to be equal in height, beauty, and extent 
to the one which we traced. The roof of this 
cavern was a stratum of coral, from ten to fifteen 
feet in thickness, through which the water per- 
colated. It was supported by massy and superb 
columns, and was thickly set with stalactites, from 
an inch to many feet in length. Some were of 
great size and beauty ; others were about to 
communicate with the floor, and either con- 
stitute the basis of a young column, or join those 
growing up from beneath. The stalagmites, 
however, although beautiful, were not numerous. 
The floor is composed of the same material, and 
is an attractive object; for it presents the ap- 
pearance of rippled water when gently agitated 
by the wind. At some points of our progress 
many openings came into view, with fretwork 
ceilings and innumerable supports, the sparkling 
of which, as they reflected the light of our 
torches, gave a depth and density to the dark- 
ness of the mansions they served to embellish. 
Fain would we have wandered longer in these 
gloomy palaces of nature, the dark and drear 
abodes of silence and solitude, as we longed to 
explore wonders on which the light of day and 
the eye of man had never rested. But our 
torches failing, we were compelled to satisfy 

ourselves with a cursory glance at one only of 
the many dreary yet beautiful ways which in- 
vited our entrance; . That one, however, was 
enough to fill us with admiration and delight. 
But description is impossible. The fantastic 
forms and sparkling concretions might have 
enabled a vigorous fancy to find resemblances 
amongst them to many majestic works of art ; 
but the effect was produced, not so much by 
single objects, or groups of them, as by the 
amplitude, the depth, and the complication of 
this subterranean world. The solemn and sub- 
lime obscurity which sleeps around you adds 
not a little to the impressiveness of the scene. 

I was much astonished, that, notwithstanding 
I had been in the habit of visiting this island 
for many years, I had never before heard of 
these superb caves. The natives informed me 
that there were six or seven others, but that 
the one we explored was the most splendid and 

On visiting the two small islands of 


we found that the natives, who possessed but 
few axes, were burning down trees, for timber 
to erect chapels. When the tree fell they burnt 
off the branches, and then proceeded to burn 
the trunk into various lengths. Having with 
me a large supply of ironmongery, furnished by 
my esteemed and valued friends, the Rev. T. 
East, and Rev. J. A. James of Birmingham, I 
gave them some tools, encouraged them to per- 
severe with their work, and promised to return 
and open their chapels in six or eight months. 
On my next visit I had the satisfaction of seeing 
two well-built, substantial places of worship, 
which had been erected with the tools, and the 
doors of which were swung on the hinges that 
I had presented to them in the name of my kind 
Birmingham friends. The pulpit at Mauke 
was a most remarkable specimen of native in- 
genuity and perseverance, for it was hewn 



entirely out of one large tree. An hour or two 
before service commenced I went to the chapel, 
accompanied by the principal chief; and, after 
commending his diligence, I said to him, " How 
came you to build so large a place 1 there are 
not people enough in your island to fill it." 
Instead of answering me he hung down his 
head, and appeared much affected. I asked him 
why he wept ; observing that it was with us 
rather a day of joy than sorrow, for we were 
about to dedicate this house to God. " Oh," 
he replied, " I weep in consequence of what you 
say, that there are not people enough in the 
island to fill this one house ; if you had but 
come about three years before you first visited 
us, this house and another like it would not 
have contained the inhabitants." On inquiring 
what had become of the people, he informed me 
that, about three years prior to my first arrival, 
a disease had raged among them, which though 
not very fatal, was nearly universal. This was 
accompanied by a famine, the result of a severe 
storm, which swept over and devastated the 
island ; and, while enduring these complicated 
sufferings, the warriors of Atiu came upon them 
in a fleet of eighty canoes, killed the people 
indiscriminately, set fire to the houses which 
contained the sick, and, having seized those 
who attempted to escape, tossed them upon 
fires kindled for the purpose. " By these 
means," said the chief, " we have been reduced 
to the remnant you now behold ; and had you 
not come when you did, our sanguinary de- 
stroyers would have repeated their visit, killed us 
all, and taken the island to themselves." The 
person who conducted this murderous expedition 
was Roma-tane, whose conversion to Christi- 
anity, by my discourse upon the folly of idolatry, 
I have already described. And it is a deeply 

interesting fact, that this chieftain, who, with 
savage aspect and devastating cruelty, had led 
his ferocious tribe against the almost defenceless 
people of Mauke, was not only the first person 
whose voice they heard inviting them in accents 
of persuasive energy to receive the Gospel of 
peace, but also among the very first who there 
united in commemorating the Saviour's death. 
It was truly a delightful sight, to behold the 
once sanguinarj chieftain, with his no less 
bloodthirsty warriors, sitting down at the same 
sacramental table with the remnant of a people 
to whom his very name had been a terror, and 
whose race he had almost exterminated: thus 
verifying what a speaker, at one of our native 
Missionary Meetings, observed, " that, by the 
Gospel, men became Christians, and savages 
brethren in Christ." 

The teacher, Haavi, of Mauke, with his wife, 
as well as Taua of Mitiaro, have proved their 
worth by upwards of twelve years' laborious and 
devoted service. The inhabitants of Mauke are 
now in a very prosperous state ; and in few 
places are the advantages resulting from Chris- 
tianity more apparent, for there order, harmony, 
and happiness prevail abundance and comfort 
are enjoyed. 

When I last visited this island Mrs. Williams 
and my family were with me ; and, as the 
natives hadneverseenaEuropean female orchild, 
their presence excited considerable interest ; and 
crowds hastened to the beach to bid them wel- 
come. The passage over the reef was a formi- 
dable undertaking for Mrs. Williams ; but 
clasping Samuel with one arm, and her infant 
in the other, she committed herself to the skill 
of the natives, and was conveyed in safety over 
the rising billow to the shore. 

The island of Mitiaro is very low, and the 

soil has, consequently, so little depth, that the 
productions are at times exceedingly scanty ; 
and the teacher, Taua, with his large family of 
nine or ten children, has occasionally suffered 
severe privations. 

He is, however a pious, sensible, and labori- 
ous man. His colleague, I am sorry to say, 
fell into sin ; and overcome probably by shame, 
put to sea in a canoe, and was never afterwards 
heard of. 



Leaving Mitiaro, we sailed for 


where we arrived, after a pleasant sail of two 
days, and received a cordial welcome on the 
beach from our esteemed friend and brother, 
Mr. Buzacott, whose tearful eyes and downcast 
look intimated that they were in the furnace of 
affliction. This received confirmation from the 
appearance of the people ; for, instead of being 
greeted by the smiles and shouts of the thousands 
who lined the shore on our former visits, only a 
small company of children, and a few walking 
skeletons, who had exerted their utmost strength 
to reach the landing-place, were to be seen. 
On inquiring the cause of this,, it was with the 
deepest sorrow we heard that a most dreadful 
and deadly disease was raging among the people, 
and sweeping them a way as with a deluge ; that 
at Mr. Buzacott's station about two hundred and 
fifty persons had been its victims ; an equal or 
greater number at Arorangi ; and about a hun- 
dred at Mr. Pitman's, where its ravages had but 
recently commenced. So prevalent was this 
terrible visitation that scarcely an inhabitant of 
the island entirely escaped its influence. The 
settlements, formerly so beautiful, were over- 
grown with weeds, and a general gloom of deso- 
lation overshadowed the place so distinguished 
during my former visits for cheerfulness and 
activity. We accompanied Mr. Buzacott to his 
residence, when, instead of being greeted with 
the animated smile which was wont to play 
upon the countenance of his devoted wife, a 
flood of tears gave vent to her feelings as she 
grasped my hand, and welcomed me to their 
house of mourning. As soon as feeling had a 
little subsided, they commenced their tale of woe, 
to which we listened with the deepest sympathy. 
The few natives who had strength to move came 
also to see me, and, seating themselves at my 
feet, they seized my hand, or clasped my leg, 
and mourned in the bitterness of their souls. 
Many of the women, while wringing their hands 
with agony, said to me, " I only am left of all 
my family ; my husband and all my children are 
gone, and here am I, friendless, husbandless, and 
childless." The almost universal reply to my 
inquiries after any one was, " He is dead." 

From this gloomy spot Ave hastened to our 
esteemed friends, Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, at 
whose station the disease was then raging, and 
whom we were truly thankful to find in a better 
state of health than might have been anticipated. 
Their account, however, of the fearful ravages 
of the disease was truly appalling ; and as we 
walked through the settlement we found many 
houses without an inmate ; all had been swept 
away. Those who, by any possible exertion, 
could get out of their sickly dwellings, came to 
disburden their distress, and or.ce more grasp 
my hand before they died ; and others, too feeble 
to walk, were either led to the doors to see us 
as we passed, or were carried by their friends 
on their mats, that they might catch a parting 
glance ere they closed their eyes in death. And 
while we could have wished that our shadow, 
passing by, might have healed them, yet our 

principal solicitude was, that our few words of 
exhortation and sympathy might be blessed to 
the survivors, and be the means of directing tne 
dying to Him " who bore our griefs and carried 
our sorrows." 

Pa, the intelligent and now excellent chief of 
Mr. Pitman's station, was lying dangerously ill, 
and, having a strong desire to see me once more, 
sent a request that I would visit him. I returned 
a kind answer, but declined acceding to his wish, 
on the ground that, as I was prosecuting an im- 
portant voyage to a new and populous group of 
islands, I did not think it prudent to enter their 
sickly habitations, lest, by any means, I should 
convey the disease with me. On hearing this, 
he desired his attendant to carry him to the side 
of the pathway, where he was laid, sheltered 
from the rays of the sun by the shade of a large 
Barringtonia tree. Here we found him awaiting 
our arrival ; and, in the course of an interesting 
conversation, I was delighted to discover that his 
views of Gospel truth were clear, and that his hope 
of salvation was built upon Christ alone. He re- 
garded the affliction in the light of a judgment, 
which the people, by their late wickedness in 
opposing the truth, in reviving heathen practices, 
and in burning the house of God, had merited 
at his hands. After commending him in prayer 
to the great Disposer of events, we bade each 
other an affectionate farewell, never expecting 
to meet again on earth. God, however, was 
pleased to rebuke his disease, and restore him 
to health ; and I am happy to add that he is at 
present a devoted, intelligent, and valuable mem- 
ber of the church. 

The Missionaries had been unremitting in 
their exertions on behalf of their afflicted people ; 
and very providentially, a stock of medicine, for- 
warded by the Directors, had arrived about two 
months prior to the breaking out of the disease. 
This supply was more valuable than gold ; but 
for it, humanly speaking, multitudes more must 
have died. My esteemed colleague, Mr. Barfl", 
had with him a valuable quantity of medicines, 
a large portion of which he most cheerfully gave 
to our afflicted brethren. 

Mr. Buzacott and Mrs. Pitman had suffered 
severely from the disease, but were mercifully 

The natives said that the pestilence was 
brought to their island by a vessel which visited 
them just before it commenced its ravages. It 
is certainly a fact which cannot be controverted, 
that most of the diseases which have raged in the 
islands during my residence there have been in- 
troduced by ships ; and what renders this fact 
remarkable is, that there might be no appear- 
ance of disease among the crew of the ship that 
conveyed this destructive importation, and that 
the infection was not communicated by any cri- 
minal conduct on the part of the crew, but by 
the common contact of ordinary intercourse. 
Another fact, worthy of special notice, is, that 
first intercourse between Europeans and na- 
tives is, I think, invariably attended with the 
introduction of fever, dysentery, or some other 
disease which carries off numbers of the people. 
At the island of Rapa, nearly half the whole 


population, were thus swept away. It is an af- 
fecting consideration, that civilized man should 
thus convey physical as well as moral contami- 
nation with him, wherever he goes. 

Taking an affectionate leave of our beloved 
brethren, and their afflicted people, we expressed 
our tenderest sympathies in their sufferings, and 
united in fervent prayer, " that the Lord would 
repent him of the evil, and say to the angel that 
destroyed the people, " It is enough." We left 
Rarotonga, which is endeared to me by so many 
pleasing recollections, and directed our course 
for the last of the Hervey Island group which was 


From hence we expected to take two teachers 
and their wives, whom Mr. Piatt had left there 
on his late voyage. As soon as the object of our 
visit was communicated to the people, they im- 
mediately called a meeting which they invited us 
to attend, when they presented a pressing request 
that one of the teachers, with his wife, might be 
allowed to remain with them. Being much 
disconcerted at the prospect of losing them, I 
negatived the request. The people, however, 
especially the females, who had formed a strong 
attachment to the teacher's wife, were so clam- 
orous and so importunate in their entreaties, 
that we found it impossible to refuse. Hun- 
dreds of these, attired in their best apparel, came 
in a body to implore me not to persist in my 
determination. They stated that as their former 
teacher's wife was dead, they would have no one 
to instruct them, and then asked me if I had 
not " one little bit of compassion" for them, and 
whether the men only had souls, that they alone 
were to be cared for, and the women left en- 
tirely destitute of a teacher. They pleaded so 
pathetically and so justly, that, after consulting 
with my esteemed colleague, we deemed it ad- 
visable to accede to their request. We came to 
this conclusion the more readily, from observing 
the immense advantage the females had derived 
fiom this devoted teacher during the few months 
she had resided with them, and their continued 
need of her superintendence and instruction. 
As soon as the announcement was made joy 
beamed in their countenances ; they rushed for- 
ward to kiss our hands, and ran in all directions 
to communicate the delightful intelligence. 

As we were deprived of two of our best la- 
bourers with their wives, Faaruea, whom we had 
left at Mangaia, and now of Vahineio, it occurred 
to us that our deficiency might be in a measure 
supplied by the selection of two pious and use- 
ful men from among the people of Aitutaki, who, 
although not competent to take the charge of the 
station, would be valuable assistants to their 
better-instructed brethren, or even more so as 
pioneers among the savage tribes we intended 
to visit. We therefore called a meeting of the 
people, stated to them our intentions, and wished 
to know if there were any among them who 
were willing to engage in this work. Two of 
their number offered their services ; and, after 
much conversation with them and many inqui- 
ries about them, we concluded that they were 
likely to prove both suitable and efficient. 

In an interesting meeting, in which they were 
set apart to their work, questions were proposed 
to them on the leading doctrines of the Gospel 
and other important topics, which they answered 
satisfactorily. With the farewell address of one 
of them we were much gratified. He expressed 
his sincere pleasure at the prospect of being en- 
gaged in so good a work, saying there was 
nothing he so much desired as to be employed 
in telling others more ignorant than himself 
about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation ; 
that he was willing, for this purpose, to forsake 
friends, and house, and lands, yea even three of 
his children, because the word of God had told 
him, " He that forsaketh not all that he hath 
cannot be my disciple ; and he that doeth the 
will of my Father in heaven, the same is my 
mother, and brother, and sister." He was 
therefore willing, he said, to venture his life and 
forsake his all in so glorious a work. He con- 
cluded his affectionate and interesting address 
with an earnest request that they would continue 
to hold fast the good word themselves and pray 
that he might be faithful unto death. Prepa- 
rations were instantly commenced for their de- 
parture, when a voluntary contribution was made 
by the people for the purpose of supplying 
their brethren with all the useful and necessary 
articles it was in their power to procure. 

During our stay, our time was fully occupied 
in examining the school children, explaining 
difficult passages of Scripture, and supplying in- 
formation and advice upon subjects of a civil, 
judicial, and religious character. For these 
purposes we held numerous meetings, the first 
of which was with the children. There were 
about four hundred present. We found them 
exceedingly fluent in repeating their catechisms, 
and ready in replying to our questions, but were 
grieved that so few of them could read. We 
then proceeded to examine a class of men, sixty 
or seventy in number, who read very readily the 
seventh chapter of the Acts, which contains 
a considerable portion of Old Testament his- 
tory. The knowledge which their answers 
evinced both surprised and delighted us ; for it 
must be recollected that the only complete por- 
tions of the Scriptures which the people of Ait- 
utaki possess is the Acts of the Apostles ; they 
have none of the Old Testament; and the other 
portions of the New are in detached sheets of 
the various Epistles, which, in consequence of 
the extensive demand, I was obliged thus to 
divide instead of giving to each a complete copy. 
They are therefore indebted to the oral instruc- 
tion of the teachers for all the historical infor- 
mation they possess : but the Aitutakians are 
an exceedingly inquisitive people, quick of ap- 
prehension, warm in theii temperament, and re- 
tain with great tenacity the information which is 
communicated. This may in a measure account 
for their extensive knowledge, as compared with 
the means they have enjoyed. 

After concluding our service with the men 
we met a class of females, who read the second 
chapter of the Acts. These were not so nume- 
rous as the men, neither did they read so well 
or answer so readily. When, however, we con- 


sidered that they had been without a female 
Missionary for several years, we could not be 
otherwise than pleased with their progress. We 
had still one more class to meet, and this was 
composed of about thirty old women, some 
lame, others hlind, and all tottering on the 
brink of the grave. One or two of them could 
read, having learnt after they were upwards of 
sixty years of age ; all of them could repeat a 
catechism, which contained the leading prin- 
ciples of Christianity ; and several, although 
they had lived so many years in the practice of 
heathen wickedness, gave most pleasing evi- 
dence of a preparation for that change which 
they were shortly to experience. 

This incident will appear the more interest- 
ing when it is recollected that the old people of 
both sexes prior to the introduction of Christ- 
ianity, were treated with the greatest cruelty ; 
for, as soon as they became burdensome, their 
friends or their own children relieved themselves 
from further trouble by putting an end to their 
existence ; and even after the introduction of the 
Gospel they were far from treating their aged 
relatives with that kindness which its principles 
and spirit require. Commiserating their de- 
gradation and wretchedness, Mrs. Williams 
called together a few of the most active mem- 
bers of the church at Raiatea, and sent them 
through the settlement to ascertain the number 
and circumstances of these objects of her solici- 
tude ; and, on finding they amounted to between 
seventy and eighty, she immediately engaged 
the female communicants to prepare for them 
suitable clothing. She then called them toge- 
ther, divided them into classes, placed teachers 
over them, and arranged to meet them herself 
every Monday afternoon, when they prayed to- 
gether, and were examined respecting the dis- 
courses they had heard on the preceding Sabbath. 
This proved a real blessing ; for their friends and 
relatives, kindness shown to them 
and the interest taken in their welfare by Mrs. 
Williams, paid them much more respect than 
formerly ; and by the Divine blessing on these 
measures, all of them obtained a considerable 
portion of scriptural knowledge, many became 
members of our church, and not a few died 
most happily. Twice a-year they prepared a 
feast, at which we Avere always invited to at- 
tend and give an address. At public service 
they generally sat together on two long seats in 
front of the pulpit : and on all occasions they 
were particularly attentive, which with other 
considerations, rendered them not the least 
interesting portion of my audience. Vahineino, 
the teacher's wife, whom the Aitutakians were 
so anxious to retain, was one of Mrs. Williams's 
most, efficient coadjutors in this work of mercy ; 
and immediately on her arrival at Aitutaki she 
commenced her benevolent operations among 
the aged and infirm there ; and I was pleased 
! to find that she had a class of between thirty 
! and forty. Thus various and numerous are the 
blessings of the Gospel, which imparts with a 
liberal and equal hand to people of all climes, 
and under all circumstances ; the new-born in- 
fant, the hoary-headed man, and the despised 

old woman, are alike the objects of its tender 

During my previous visit to this island, I was 
explaining to the people, one evening, the 
manner in which English Christians raised 
money to send the Gospel to heathen countries. 
On hearing this, they expressed their regret at 
not having money, that they also might enjoy 
the privilege of " helping in the good work of 
causing the Avord of God to groAv." I replied, 
" If you have no money, you have something to 
buy money with." This idea Avas quite new to 
them, and they wished to know at once what 
they possessed which would buy money. I 
said to them, " The pigs I brought to your 
island on my first visit have multiplied so 
greatly, that all of you have noAv an abundance ; 
and if every family in the island Avere to set 
apart a pig, * for causing the word of God to 
groAv,' and, when the ships come, to sell them 
for money, instead of cloth and axes, a valuable 
contribution might be raised." The idea de- 
lighted them exceedingly, and early the next 
morning the squeaking of the pigs, which Avere 
receiving a particular mark in the ear for this 
purpose, was heard from one end of the settle- 
ment to the other. In the interim a ship had 
been there, the captain of which had purchased 
their pigs, and paid for them most honourably : 
and, noAv, to my utter astonishment, the native 
treasurer put into my hands 103., partly in 
bills and partly in cash ! This was the first 
money they ever possessed, and every farthing 
of it Avas dedicated to the cause of Christ ! 

The circumstance Avhich renders this narra 
tion of the Avork of God at Aitutaki, Atiu, Man- 
gaia, and Mauke, particularly interesting is, 
that all the beneficial changes which have been 
effected at these islands are the result of the 
labours of native Missionaries, no European 
Missionary having ever resided at either of 

We noAv took our departure, accompanied by 
the teachers, with their Avives and children 
altogether thirty persons. The kind people of 
Aitutaki loaded us Avith provisions : and after 
commending each other to God in prayer, Ave 
bade them an affectionate fareAvell, and hoisting 
our beautiful flag,* whose dove and olive-branch 
were emblematical both of our name and object, 
we spread our sails, and pursued our course, 
watched by the interested multitude Ave had left 
until we appeared as a speck in the horizon, 
and were lost in the distance. 

* This flag was made, and sent to me by some kind 
ladies at Brighton ; the ground was blue, having a large 
white dove, with a green olive branch in its mouth, most 
beautifully executed ; aDd the thought occurred to me 
at the time, that, could these kind ladies have seen the 
Messenger of Peace, bearing ten native Missionaries to 
their sphere of labour, with the work of their own hands 
flying at her mast-head, it would have afforded them 
peculiar delight. 




Leave Aitutaki Savage Island Difficulty in obtaining 
Intercourse Savage appearance of the People Reach 
Tongatabu Cordial Reception by the Wesleyan Mis- 
sionaries Account of their Labours Arrangement en- 
tered into with them A Sabbath at Tonga Meet 
with Fauea Productions. 

In order to gain as much information as pos- 
sible about the inhabitants of the group which 
we were intending to visit, we determined, in- 
stead of steering direct for the Navigators' Is- 
lands, to proceed first to Tongatabu ; for while 
we endeavoured to repose implicit confidence 
on the promised protection of a faithful God, 
we did not deem it to be less our duty to take 
every precaution for our own safety which pru- 
dence might suggest, and therefore resolved to 
proceed to that island, as there had been, from 
time immemorial, frequent intercourse between 
the inhabitants of the Navigators and Friendly 
groups. The Wesleyan Missionaries also were 
labouring at Tongatabu, with great success, and 
we were anxious to visit them. 

Having to pass an island discovered by Cap- 
tain Cook, which, in consequence of the fero- 
cious character of its inhabitants, he called 
Savage Island, we determined to touch there, 
and leave with them the two Aitutakian teachers, 
to impart the knowledge of that Gospel by 
which, savage as they are, they will ultimately 
be civilized and blessed. 

After a pleasant sail of five or six days, we 
reached the island in question, which we found 
to be of the second class, the altitude of its most 
elevated land not exceeding a hundred feet. It 
is neither beautiful nor romantic. The shores 
were iron-bound, and the rocks in most places 
perpendicular, with here and there a recess, by 
which the natives had intercourse with the sea. 
We observed, also, as we sailed along the coast, 
a number of chasms and caverns of various sizes 
and depths. Arriving opposite to a sandy beach, 
and perceiving some natives on shore, we waved 
a white flag, which is the signal used to obtain 
friendly intercourse. Instead, however, of 
launching their little canoes, and accepting our 
invitation, they waved one in return ; and on 
perceiving this, we immediately lowered our 
boat and made for the shore ; but, on approach- 
ing it, we found the natives arranged in hostile 
array, as if to repel an invasion. Each of them 
had three or four spears, with his sling, and a 
belt full of large stones. When they had ar- 
rived within one or two hundred yards of the 
reef, our natives lay upon their oars, spent a few 
moments in prayer, and then proceeded to the 
shore, making signs to the savages to lay down 
their weapons. This they did readily when 
they perceived that there were no Europeans in 
the boat ;* and, coming down to the extreme 
point of the reef, they bade our people welcome, 
by presenting the utu, or peace-offering. This 

In our first intercourse with a savage people, we 
seldom went in the boat our*elves : for, when the hea- 
then see that people of their own nation and colour only 
are there, suspicion is at once disarmed, and communi- 
cation more easily opened. 

custom appears to be very general among the 
inhabitants of the Pacific Isles, and consists in 
presenting to the visitor a bread-fruit, a piece 
of cloth, or some other article, with the sacred 
cocoa-nut leaf, which they call Tapaau, attached 
to it ; on receiving which the stranger returns 
some trifle, as a token of amity, and a kind of 
ratification that the intercourse shall be peace- 
able. This ceremony having been performed, 
the natives launched some of their canoes, and 
advanced towards our vessel, but evinced, by 
their cautious movements, and the respectful 
distance they kept, that they indulged the most 
fearful apprehensions. An old chieftain, how- 
ever, was at length induced to venture into the 
boat, and with him they hastened to the ship. 
His appearance was truly terrific. He was 
about sixty years of age, his person tall, his 
cheek-bones raised and prominent, and his coun- 
tenance most forbidding ; his whole body was 
smeared with charcoal, his hair and heard were 
both long and grey, and the latter, plaited and 
twisted together, hung from his mouth like so 
many rats' tails. He wore no clothing, except 
a narrow slip of cloth around his loins, for the 
purpose of passing a spear through, or any other 
article he might wish to carry. On reaching 
the deck, the old man was most frantic in his 
gesticulations, leaping about from place to place, 
and using the most vociferous exclamations at 
everything he saw. All attempts at conversa- 
tion with him were entirely useless, as we could 
not persuade him to stand still even for a single 
second. Our natives attempted to clothe him, 
by fastening around his person a piece of native 
cloth ; but, tearing it off in a rage, lie threw it 
upon deck, and, stamping upon it, exclaimed, 
" Am I a woman, that I should be encumbered 
with that stuff'?' He then proceeded to give 
us a specimen of a war-dance, which he com- 
menced by poising and quivering his spear, 
running to and fro, leaping and vociferating, as 
though inspired by the spirit of wildness. Then 
he distorted his features most horribly by ex- 
tending his mouth, gnashing his teeth, and 
forcing his eyes almost out of their sockets. 
At length he concluded this exhibition by 
thrusting the whole of his long grey beard into 
his mouth, and gnawing it with the most sa- 
vage vengeance. During the whole of the per- 
formance he kept up a loud and hideous howl. 
Retaining the old chief as a hostage, our boat 
again approached the shore, and our people 
were permitted to land. The islanders gave 
them some food, and were friendly in their 
intercourse, taking care, however, to have their 
war weapons in readiness for a moment of 
exigency. A person apparently of some impor- 
tance now arrived, and gave the teacher to 
understand that we had better take the vessel 
to another part of the island. On their return 
to the ship, we gave our wild guest a present, 
which consisted of a hatchet, a knife, a looking- 
glass, and a pair of scissors ; none of which, 
however, did he appear to prize, not knowing 
their use ; but, just as he was leaving the vessel, 
he caught sight of a large mother-of-pearl shell, 
which one of our people was handling, and, 



springing forward, he seized it from him, and 
appeared, from his frantic expressions of joy, to 
have obtained an article of superlative value. 
Thus laden, he was returned to the shore, where 
he received the hearty congratulations of his 
wife and people on his happy escape from a 
most perilous situation. 

Night coming on, we stood to sea, hoping in 
the morning to hold more beneficial intercourse 
with the degraded inhabitants of this island ; 
but the next day also was spent in fruitless 
attempts to obtain it. A landing, however, 
was effected by the two teachers from Aitutaki, 
whom I had intended for this island, and some 
of our own people ; when, after having been 
handled, smelt, and all but tasted, perceiving a 
vast multitude of natives approach, thoroughly 
equipped for war, they thought it advisable to 
return without delay to the ship ; but suc- 
ceeded in getting one individual on board, who 
represented himself as a chief of some impor- 
tance, although the only badge of distinction 
we could discover was a few shells, and part of 
an old clasp-knife handle, dangling to a narrow 
girdle around his waist. All the men were in 
a state of nature, and appeared quite unconsci- 
ous of any impropriety. Very few of the women 
were seen, for they ran away into the woods on 
the approach of our people. Notable, however, 
to restrain their curiosity, some ventured near 
enough to take a peep at the strangers, as they 
were probably the first persons wearing Euro- 
pean clothing they had ever seen. 

The teachers from Aitutaki, with their wives, 
were so much discouraged and alarmed at the 
prospect of settling among these wretchedly 
degraded islanders, that they requested us to 
allow them to accompany their brethren from 
the Society Islands, to whom they would act as 
assistants, and with whom they were willing to 
labour at the Navigators or any other station. 
We, of course, acceded to their request, not, 
however, apprehending that their lives would 
be in danger, though, in all probability, they 
would have been plundered of everything they 

The only way that now remained by which 
we might in some degree accomplish the object 
of our visit, was to endeavour to induce a native 
or two to accompany us to the Society Islands, 
keep them for a short time, load them with 
presents of useful articles, and then restore them 
to their home. This we succeeded, after con- 
siderable difficulty, in effecting. As soon, 
however, as the youths perceived that we were 
losing sight of their island, they became most 
frantic in the expressions of their grief, tearing 
their hair, and howling in the most affecting 
manner. We had recourse to every expedient 
to inspire their confidence and assuage their 
grief, but for the first three or four days their 
incessant howlings were of the most heart-rend- 
ing description ; we could neither induce them 
to eat, drink, or sleep. When animal food was 
offered to them they turned away with disgust, 
and howled most piteously : for, having never 
seen it before, they concluded that we were 
cooking and eating human flesh, that we had 

taken them on board for the same purpose, and 
that when our present stock was exhausted they 
Were to be put to death and devoured. 
Their fears, however, were in some measure 
removed on the third day, by seeing a pig 
killed ; and from that time they gradually 
became more tranquil, were reconciled to their 
new companions, and even delighted with the 
prospect of seeing other countries. We were 
induced to be extremely cautious in our inter- 
course with the inhabitants of Savage Island, 
from having been informed that the islanders 
had seized a boat belonging to a vessel which 
had touched there a few months before, and 
murdered all the crew. They are certainly the 
most wretched and degraded of any natives I 
have ever seen, except the aborigines of New 
Holland. But this ought to increase our com- 
passion for them, and also our zeal to introduce 
that religion Avhich alone will be effectual in 
taming their ferocious dispositions, reforming 
their savage habits, and rendering intercourse 
with them safe and beneficial. Facts abundantly 
prove that the Gospel is the grand catholicon 
for healing the social, the civil, and the moral 
maladies of man. 

On leaving Savage Island, we steered a direct 
course for Tongatabu, which is about 350 miles 
west ; a full sight of which we gained as soon 
as we passed Eua, a mountainous island which 
lay in our track. Entering the channel from 
the east, between the main land and a row of 
beautiful islets which stud and adorn the reef 
on the north, we steered our devious and dan- 
gerous way, amidst shoals and rocks, without 
pilot or chart, until we reached our destination, 
off the interesting Missionary settlement, Nu- 
kualofa, where, in July, 1830, we dropped our 
anchor. On reaching the shore we received a 
most cordial welcome from our Wesleyan 
brethren, Messrs. Turner and Cross, who, with 
their excellent wives, kindly invited us to take 
up our abode with them during our stay. To 
this we readily agreed, and were delighted with 
the opportunity of observing the untiring dili- 
gence with which they were prosecuting the 
objects of their mission, and the encouraging 
prospects of success which sustained and ani- 
mated them in their labours. 

Early the next morning, Mr. Barff and myself 
accompanied Mr. Turner to the native school, 
which was held in the old plastered chapel, 
erected by those who had been converted to 
Christianity through the labours of our native 
Missionary who before had occupied the station. 
The progress which many had made in reading 
and writing was most gratifying ; some of them 
wrote a free and intelligible hand, and numbers 
were employed in copying portions of the sacred 
Scriptures, which our Wesleyan brethren 
had translated into the Tonga language. 
This building having become too small, the 
Christians were now engaged in erecting a 
larger one, on which the king and his party were 
at work when we visited it. This is a complete 
Tonga house, which, being encircled with reeds, 
and executed with great neatness, looks ex- 
ceedingly well, yet is far inferior, in appear- 



ance and value, to the chapels in the Society 
Islands, which we plaster and whitewash with 
lime made from the coral rock. The site on 
which the building was erected was the most 
elevated spot on the island, and this, with other 
circumstances, gave it additional interest. Ton- 
gatabu, although nearly a hundred miles in cir- 
cumference, is perfectly flat, and rises only a 
few feet above the level of the sea. The only 
elevated spot is this small hill, which is not, I 
think, above fifty feet in height ; whether natural 
or artificial, I did not ascertain. It was the 
fortress to which the people of the district 
retired in times of war, and is particularly 
memorable in the annals of Tonga warfare, from 
the circumstance of its having been the place 
where the inhabitants first experienced the 
deadly power of the cannon-ball. 

In the year 1806 a privateer, called the Port 
au Prince, was taken by the natives of the neigh- 
bouring island of Lefiiga, and nearly all the crew 
were murdered. A young man named Mariner 
and a few others, were spared. The arms and am- 
munition of the vessel fell into the hands of the 
natives who, headed by Finau, the celebrated 
chief of the Vavau Islands, came over to Tong- 
atabu to engage in a terrible battle. Mariner 
accompanied his friends, and had the manage- 
ment of the cannon committed to him. The 
Tonga army encamped upon the top of this hill, 
and entrenched themselves by digging two deep 
ditches around it, the earth of which formed 
embankments that remain nearly perfect to the 
present day. Upon the top of these they erected 
strong reed fences, and thus fortified and en- 
trenched, they awaited in confident security the 
attack of the invaders. But the action was no 
sooner begun, than they found, to their consterna- 
tion and dismay, their houses falling down upon 
them, their canoes, which they had taken into 
the entrenchment for safety, shivered to pieces, 
the splinters of which were killing and wounding 
in all directions ; and their reed fences, which 
presented an effectual barrier against the stones 
and spears of their own warriors, offered no 
defence against the force of a cannon-ball. As 
the circumstance of that memorable event were 
still fresh in our recollection, we viewed the 
place with feelings of peculiar interest ; and I 
could not help contrasting the difference of the 
scenes which in future would be witnessed upon 
the top of that hill. It was here the affrighted 
Tongatabuans first heard the thunder of a Bri- 
tish cannon, whose deadly operations were di- 
rected by a British subject ; and I rejoiced to 
reflect, that on this very spot they would soon 
hear the still small voice of the Gospel, whose 
life-giving truths would be proclaimed to them 
by subjects of the same kingdom. It was here 
they experienced the deadly power of the can- 
non-ball, which destroyed their property, man- 
gled their bodies, and spread horror and dismay 
amongst them. Here also I was delighted to 
think that they would soon feel the effects of 
the Gospel, which, by its moral power, would 
elevate their character, ameliorate their miseries, 
and diffuse among them joy, and peace, and 

On the day after our arrival at Tongatabu we 
received information from Mr. Samuel Henry 
and others which induced us to reconsider and 
rearrange our plans. Our original intention was, 
to have gone to the Fiji Islands and New He- 
brides, previously to visiting the Navigators' 
group ; but from the painfully distressing ac- 
counts now received we resolved to proceed at 
once to the latter. 

The interesting station at which we had 
arrived was formerly occupied by native Mis- 
sionaries connected with the London Mission- 
ary Society, who were induced to relinquish it 
to the Wesleyan brethren. The circumstances 
which led to this were communicated to us at a 
fraternal meeting, where we learned that they 
had received from the people an invitation, in 
which the native teacher himself (not being 
aware of any difference of sentiment among 
Missionaries) most cordially united. Thus our 
brethren had a settlement prepared for them, a 
commodious chapel with the king and three or 
four hundred people professing Christianity 
ready to treat them kindly, and receive instruc- 
tion from their lips. Mr. Turner was delighted 
with the circumstance, liberally rewarded the 
teacher, and in conversation with us, com- 
mended, in warm terms, his consistency and 
devotedness. It was pleasing to hear such a 
testimony to the character of one of our native 
Missionaries, and most gratifying to reflect that 
the labours of this devoted individual were the 
foundation of all that success which has since 
crowned the efforts of our brethren, the Wesley- 
an Missionaries, at these islands. At this con- 
ference also, the brethren expressed a wish that, 
as the Fiji Islands were so near to Tongatabu, 
and politically connected with it, we should 
leave that field open to them, and urged upon 
us the extent and importance of the Navigators, 
on the ground that the affinity of the languages, 
and other circumstances, appeared to assign 
that group to our mission and the Fijis to theirs. 

Feeling the great importance of keeping our 
spheres of labour distinct, we readily acceded 
to their proposition; and Mr. Barff and myself 
on the one part, and Mr. Turner and Mr. Cross 
on the other, agreed that we should occupy the 
Navigators' Islands, and they bend their atten- 
tion to the Fijis. But as we had two native 
Missionaries for this latter group, and as we had 
now an opportunity of sending them, we would 
do so, with a distinct understanding that when- 
ever Wesleyan Missionaries should arrive from 
England for the Fiji Islands, they should pro- 
ceed, if they pleased, to the very spot where our 
native Missionaries were labouring. Mr. Barff 
and myself both assured them that we should 
feel as much pleasure in being instrumental in 
preparing a way for the labours of their Mis- 
sionaries, as for those from our own Society. 
And here I may just remark upon the desirable- 
ness of every society having a distinct sphere of 
labour among a heathen people. Much as I 
should rejoice in being associated with an Epis- 
copalian, a Baptist or a Methodist brother, 
who did not attach primary importance to se- 
condary objects, yet the interests of every mis- 

sion, especially in the early stages of its progress, 
seem to me to require another line of conduct. 
The natives, though comprehending but very 
imperfectly our objects, would at once discern 
a difference in the modes of worship, and their 
attention would of necessity be divided and dis- 
tracted. Being also of an inquisitive disposition, 
they would demand a reason for every little 
deviation which would lead to explanations first 
from the one party, and then from the other, and 
thus evils would arise, which otherwise might 
never have existed. There would have been 
another great inconvenience, in the present 
instance, had we both gone to one group of is- 
lands, from the circumstance of the Wesleyan 
Missionaries having adopted a different ortho- 
graphy and alphabet, as well as different ele- 
mentary and other books. I do therefore sin- 
cerely hope that the directors or conductors 
of all Missionary Societies will be ever ready in 
this way to sacrifice denominational peculiarities 
to the great object of their institution. 

The first Sabbath we spent at Tonga was one 
of much interest. At daylight, all our teachers 
with the crew of the vessel, met for worship ; 
when a sermon was addressed to them, in the 
Tahitian language. After breakfast we all at- 
tended the worship of the Tongatabuans. The 
congregation consisted of between three and 
four hundred people, and Mr. Turner preached 
to them with great fluency in the native lan- 
guage, which we perceived was far from being 
so soft and mellifluous as the Tahitian. After 
this the two brethren, Turner and Cross, admi- 
nistered the ordinance of baptism to upwards of 
thirty persons, men only. When native ser- 
vice was concluded, at the request of the bre- 
thren I preached in English to the mission fa- 
milies and Europeans from the vessels. In the 
afternoon Mr. Cross preached again to the 
natives, and then baptized about thirty females, 
principally the wives of those who were baptized 
in the morning. Towards evening a third ser- 
vice was held for the benefit of the natives, when 
about thirty-eight couple were publicly married. 
As the Tongatabuans, in their heathen state had 
several wives, the Wesleyan Missionaries re- 
quired each convert to put them all away except 
the one who might be the object of his prefer- 
ence, and to whom, after they were baptized, he 
was publicly married. This accounts for the 
number of marriages solemnized on this day. 
They have alsopuisued the plan of giving Chris- 
tian names to those whom thev baptize. The 
queen they call Mary Tupou, and the king 
Jeremiah Tupou. The American Mission- 
aries at the Sandwich Islands, and the Church 
Missionaries of New Zealand, have done the 
same. This appears to us the introduction of a 
new feature into the Polynesian language, which 
its genius does not admit, and to which there is 
nothing analogous. It may be said that many 
of the natives have two names, as Tupuo-total 
of Tongatabu, Makea-nui of Rarotonga, and 
a variety of others. But these are mere appen- 
dages to the name descriptive of the office or 
occupation of the individual: total, added to 
Tupou's name, is, literally, the sailor ; nut to 

Makea is, the great, answering to the appella- 
tions Necho aud Epiphanes, which were ap- 
pended to the names of Pharaoh, Antiochus, 
and others. Now we should not think of pre- 
fixing a Christian name to that of Pharaoh, and 
calling him Jeremiah Pharaoh, or to that of 
Cleopatra, and calling her Elizabeth Cleopatra, 
as the missionaries to whom I have referred 
have done. There is also a native dignity in 
the name itself, which is lost when thus asso- 
ciated ; and, as the idiom of this language will 
not admit such an incongruous combination of 
terms, I do sincerely hope that all the Mission- 
aries will use every effort to transmit it to pos- 
terity, pure, simple, and beautiful as they 
found it. 

On the following day a circumstance of pecu- 
liar interest and importance occurred. Simple 
and comparatively insignificant in itself, it was 
one of those numerous pivots, in the arrange- 
ments of Divine Providence, upon which the 
most momentuous events are frequently poised ; 
one of those little cogs in the wheels of the com- 
plicated machinery which are essential to its 
operations. A man came to us, and stated that 
he was a chief of the Navigators' Islands ; that 
he was related to the most influential families 
there ; that he had been eleven years absent 
from his home, and was anxiously desirous of 
returning ; and, having heard of our intention 
to convey the Gospel to his countrymen, he 
offered, if we would take him with us, to em- 
ploy his utmost influence with his relatives, the 
chiefs, and with his countrymen generally, to 
induce them to receive the teachers kindly, and 
attend to their instructions. This we considered 
a most favourable incident ; but, as so many re- 
present themselves as of greater importance than 
they really are, we determined to inquire into 
the truth of his statements before we complied 
with his request, and desired him to come again 
to us on the following morning. As Tupou the 
king, and others, confirmed what he had said, 
and also informed us that his wife was a Chris- 
tian, and that he, although not having made a 
public profession of Christianity, was frequent 
in his attendance on the means of grace, and 
decidedly friendly to the lotu,* we determined 
to make the best use we could of an instrument 
which God had thus placed at our disposal ; and 
therefore, when he came to us the next day, we 
received him with respect, made him a trifling 
present, and informed him of our willingness to 
take him, with his wife and family, to his native 
land. He left us much delighted, and went 
home to prepare for his voyage. His name was 
Fauea. He appeared to be an active, intelligent 
man, and proved to us an invaluable acquisition. 
During the week we were much engaged in pre- 
paring and fitting boarding-nettings to our ves- 
sel, which consist of nets, three or four yards 
deep, made of rope about the thickness of the 
little finger, which are fastened to upright sup- 
porters all round the vessel, to prevent the na- 
tives from coming on board. 

It has been already stated that missions were 
commenced simultaneously by the London Mis- 
A name for the new religion. 



sionary Society at the Marquesan, Tahitian, and 
Friendly Islands. In the year 1796 Captain 
Wilson placed ten Missionaries at Tongatabu. 
These remained at their stations, without re- 
ceiving any material injury from the natives, 
until the breaking out of a civil war, in April 
1799, when Messrs. Bowel, Gaulton, and Hooper, 
who appear to have been pious and devoted men, 
were barbarously murdered. The other Mis- 
sionaries were plundered of their property, and 
saved their lives only by flight. After being in 
perilous circumstances for several months, they 
were delivered by a very remarkable providence. 
The ship Betsy, letter of marque, touched at 
Tahiti, having with her a Spanish prize, which 
Mr. Harris, one of the Missionaries, undertook to 
navigate to New South Wales, on the condition 
that Captain Clark would call at Tongatabu, to 
see the brethren. Finding on his arrival the 
dangerous situation of the Missionaries, Captain 
Clark very humanely offered to convey them all, 
free of expense, to New South Wales. Thus 
the mission was abandoned. 

During our stay at Tonga we left the settle- 
ment, on one occasion, to visit the spot where 
our three unfortunate brethren fell, but, the 
distance being great, a deluging rain compelled 
us to return. 

In our various perambulations we observed 
that the soil generally was very rich, and that 
many large tracts of land were under cultivation. 
The banana and mountain plantain groves were 
large and numerous. The fruit of these trees 
forms an important part of the food of the 
Friendly Islanders, although they depend 
principally upon the yam, of which invaluable 
esculent they raise immense quantities ; and the 
Tongatabuans excel all their neighbours in the 
cultivation of it. Still we observed large portions 
of land lying waste, the present number of 
inhabitants not requiring them ; but the natives 
informed me that, a few years before, the whole 
island was in a high state of cultivation, until 
their frequent wars, combined with successive 
attacks of dysentery and other diseases, had so 
fearfully reduced the population. It is earnestly 
to be hoped that, by the blessing of Gcd on the 
labours of his devoted servants, all the inhabi- 
tants will soon be brought under the salutary 
influence of that Gospel in the train of which, 
blessings of every kind will follow ; for " god- 
liness is profitable unto all things." 


Hapai Islands Volcanic Island Escape Shipwreck 
Fiuau's Despotism A lamentable Accountof a Native 
Teacher An account of the Introduction of Christi- 
anity at the Hapai Islands The intrepid Conduct of 
the Chief Idols hun^. 

After spending a fortnight most pleasantly and 
profitably with our kind friends, we prepared 
for our departure. On leaving Tongatabu we 
could not proceed in a direct course to the 
Navigators, having first to visit the Vavau 
Islands ; to which group our colleague, Mr. 
No. G. 

Orsmond, had some time ago sent three native 
Missionaries. One of these removed to Ton- 
gatabu, and was made very useful there ; bn 
as the others had disgraced themselves exceed- 
ingly, Mr. Piatt (who succeeded Mr. Orsmond) 
selected one of their brethren to supply their 
place. As Mrs. Cross was in delicate health, 
and it was thought that a voyage might be 
beneficial to her, Mr. Cross expressed a wish 
that himself and Mrs. C. might accompany us 
to the Hapai Islands ; and, as we should pass 
them in our way to Vavau, we felt much pleasure 
in acceding to their request. 

We cannot take leave of Tongatabu without 
acknowledging the kindness shown to us by our 
Missionary brethren and their wives. From 
Tupou, the king, also, we received great atten- 
tion ; for the vessel had not been long at anchor, 
before he sent a messenger to request that all 
the teachers and their wives might be allowed 
to take up their residence with him. This they 
did, and were gratuitously supplied by him 
with every necessary during the whole of our 
stay at Tongatabu. He also made us a present 
of two fine pigs and some yams. The teachers' 
wives, all of whom were well dressed in Euro- 
pean clothing, and wore bonnets manufactured 
by themselves from native materials, had 
attracted considerable notice ; and, at the special 
request of the queen, they made her one of 
similar shape and materials, and began imme- 
diately to instruct her and her female attendants 
in the art. By uniting their efforts, the queen's 
bonnet was completed before the Sabbath ; and 
for the first time in her life she appeared at 
worship in European costume, presenting a 
most striking contrast to the awkward half- 
dress of her countrywomen. Some few months 
afterwards I received a letter from Mr. Turner, 
wherein he informed me that the females had 
much improved in the art of making bonnets, 
and had generally adopted the practice of 
wearing them. 

On the morning after our departure from 
Tongatabu we saw two islands of considerable 
height, in the vicinity of which were several of 
those detached reefs, which render this part of 
the ocean exceedingly dangerous in thick and 
stormy weather. As we approached we saw 
heavy clouds of smoke ascending from the 
burning mountain of Tofua, which the natives 
call Coe afi a Devolo, " The Devil's fire." But 
our attention was too much engaged with the 
numerous reefs and islets which presented a 
barrier in every direction, to regard any other 
object, until some fishermen pointed out to us 
an opening between two islands. Through this 
we steered, congratulating ourselves on our 
escape, and, after sailing at a rapid rate for 
several hours, and passing a number of small 
islets, we descried the island of Lefuga, and 
entertained the pleasing prospect of dropping 
anchor in an hour or two near to the residence 
of Mr. Thomas, when in a moment we were 
thrown into the utmost consternation, by finding 
ourselves again involved amongst reefs, sunken 
rocks, small islands, and sand-banks, more 
numerous and dangerous than those from which 




we had previously been rescued. These, stretch- 
ing out before us, prevented our proceeding. 
Unfortunately, our pilot had directed us to take 
the wrong channel, but, as we had still two or 
three hours daylight, and a strong wind, by 
manoeuvring and tacking about till eight o'clock 
in the evening we at last extricated ourselves, 
to the no small relief of all on board, and suc- 
ceeded in reaching an anchorage. Early the 
next morning we sailed for Lefuga, and met 
Mr. Thomas on the beach, ready to welcome 
us to the hospitalities of his house. On landing 
with Mr. and Mrs. Cross, we were happy to 
find that a great work was going on among the 
people. We were also informed that Finau, 
the chief of the Vavau Islands, with many of 
his people, was at Lefuga. This was agreeable 
news, as his presence would prevent the 
necessity of our visiting that group. 

From the boat Mr. Thomas conducted us to 
the residence of the chief Taufaahau, who re- 
ceived us with much ceremony, and treated us 
with great respect. On being informed who 
we were, and what was the object of our visit, 
he expressed himself delighted to see us. We 
next waited upon Finau, accompanied by Messrs. 
Thomas and Cross, who kindly acted as our 
interpreters. He wore no badge of royalty of 
any description, and, being of low stature, dark 
complexion, and forbidding aspect, his appear- 
ance furnished no indication of his rank. When 
led into his presence, we found his majesty, and 
many of his chiefs, amusing themselves with a 
favourite game, which consisted of throwing a 
large spear into the air, so that it might fall 
perpendicularly, and pierce the top of a post of 
soft wood set up for the purpose. In this Finau 
appeared to excel. As soon, however, as he saw 
us, he laid down his spear and came towards us, 
and, when told by Mr. Thomas who we were, 
he conducted us to his temporary abode, which 
was a hut made of cocoa-nut leaves, standing in 
front of twenty or thirty others of similar con- 
struction. The whole party then sat down, 
Finau being surrounded by his chiefs, when he 
was informed that we were Missionaries, and 
that, having laboured for many years in the 
Tahitian and Society Islands, the inhabitants 
of which had derived great advantage from 
our instructions, we were desirous of imparting 
to him and his people the same benefits, and for 
this purpose had sent, some few years ago, three 
persons to the island of Yavau ; but, having 
learned with much grief that two of these had 
disgraced their profession by returning to the 
evil practices which in their own island they had 
abandoned, we had brought with us an indi- 
vidual whose character had been tried, and who, 
we hoped, would prove a blessing to him and 
his people. We wished, therefore, to know 
whether he was willing to receive him, and sub- 
mit to his instructions. The chief listened with 
great attention, and replied by saying, that the 
persons who were formerly sent endeavoured to 
instruct him and his people, but they would not 
be taught ; when the teachers, finding all their 
efforts ineffectual, ceased to make them, and at 
length became like themselves. As to receiving 

the new teacher, he said, he would speak his 
sentiments freely, and not deceive us. If he 
was placed at Vavau, he would protect him, but 
he would neither embrace Christianity himself, 
nor allow his people : for he would put to death 
the very first person, man, woman, or child, who 
did so. We did not think it desirable to argue 
the point with this imperious chieftain, but 
contented ourselves with expressing our sorrow 
that he should so resolutely oppose that which 
would have proved so great a blessing ; and 
added, that we should pray to God on his behalf, 
who had power to subdue his spirit, and means 
at his command to induce him to change his 
mind on so important a subject. 

On inquiry, we ascertained that the general 
conduct of Finau had been in accordance with 
his terrible threat. Many of the Vavauans, 
(among whom were some of the principal chiefs,) 
anxious to be instructed in the principles of 
Christianity, had left their wives and families, 
their houses and plantations, and had come to 
reside at Lefuga, to enjoy the advantages of Mr. 
Thomas's instructions. Here we found them 
in comparative poverty and dependence ; greatly 
preferring this state to the renunciation of 
Christianity, between which and a cruel death 
at the murderous hand of their despotic chieftain 
there would have been no alternative, had they 
returned to Vavau. We ourselves were eye- 
witnesses of the unrestrained tyranny which 
Finau exercised over his people. While at 
Lefuga, we sent for Taute the only survivor of 
the three teachers, but as Finau was not willing 
that we should speak to the unfortunate man 
except in his presence, he remained with us 
during the interview. The poor unhappy crea- 
ture came to us, pale and trembling, dressed 
like the heathen among whom he was living. 
His appearance excited our deepest sympathy, 
and for a time he was too overcome. As soon 
as his feelings subsided a little, he gave us a 
most interesting account of Porapora, who, 
grieved with his conduct, and that of his com- 
panion, had removed to Tongatabu, where his 
labours had been exceedingly useful, and his 
death very happy. Zorababela, his other col- 
league, had died in his sins at Vavau. We 
then referred to his own awful condition, which 
he acknowledged, and said that he was truly 
miserable, that he knew he was lost, and could 
not entertain a hope of salvation. Wishing to 
reclaim this wanderer, we offered to take him 
home, and urged him to accompany us ; to 
which he replied that he had a wife and child 
whom he could not leave, and he knew that the 
chief would not allow him to go. For some 
time Finau was silent, but no sooner did he 
perceive that our conversation was producing a fa- 
vourable impression upon the unfortunate back- 
slider, than he spoke to him very sternly, and 
threatened him with severe penalties if he lis- 
tened any longer to our exhortations, or altered 
his conduct in consequence of them. 

After this interview with Finau we returned 
home with Messrs. Thomas and Cross, to con- 
sult upon our proceedings with reference to 
Vavau ; when, after a little consideration, we 



determined not to leave the teacher at that sta- 
tion, bnt to take him with us to the Navigators 
Islands, where the field was more extensive and 
the prospects were so encouraging. We were 
reconciled to this disappointment by the consi- 
deration that the excellent and judicious Mr. 
Thomas was in the vicinity, to take advantage 
of the first opportunity that offered ; beside 
which, he had under instruction a number of 
Vanvauans, who were anxiously desirous of con- 
veying to their perishing and deluded country- 
men the knowlege and blessings of the Gospel, 
and who would enter the door immediately, if, 
in the providence of God, it should be thrown 
open to them. "We spent the evening very 
pleasantly and profitably, in conversation with 
our brethren, and their excellent wives, upon 
the difficulties, duties, and encouragements of a 
Missionary life During this intercourse they 
informed us that nearly a hundred persons had 
become candidates for the ordinance of baptism, 
and were then under a course of instruction, 
preparatory to its administration ; and that 
many others were waiting till the great festival 
then in preparation, was over, when they in- 
tended to make a more decided profession of 
religion. A considerable number attended the 
schools daily, and had made great progress in 
reading and writing. "We united most cordi- 
ally with our friends in acknowledgments to 
the Author of all our mercies, for the success 
which had attended their labours, and for the 
pleasing and extensive prospects of usefulness 
open before them. The fields were literally 
white unto the harvest. 

The wind being favourable, we determined 
to take advantage of it ; and on the following 
morning we prepared for our departure. 

As the introduction of Christianity to this 
group of islands was attended with circum- 
stances of peculiar interest, a brief notice of 
them may be acceptable. The Hapai group, 
of which Lefuga is the principal, is a cluster of 
between thirty and forty small coralline islands, 
eighteen or twenty of which are inhabited, and 
subject to the authority of one principal chief, 
named Taufaahau. When we saw him he was 
about thirty years of age, of most noble appear- 
ance and commanding aspect : with a counte- 
nance expressive of the superior discernment, 
great decision, and undaunted resolution, which, 
in a very extraordinary degree, distinguished 
and adorned his character. Having heard of 
the progress and effects of Christianity at Ton- 
gatabu, he determined to visit that island, and 
form his own judgment of the new religion. 
From his youth, we were told, that this truly 
wonderful man had despised the whole system 
of idol worship. But when he visited Tonga- 
tabu, he resolved to abandon at once the gods 
of his forefathers, and place himself under Chris- 
tian instruction. He therefore solicited Mr. 
Thomas to accompany him to the Hapai Islands ; 
but as it was thought desirable by his brethren 
that the chief should give some proof of his 
sincerity, before Mr. Thomas removed to so 
great distance, they agreed to send, in the first 
instance, a native convert, named Peter, on the 

condition, that should the chief remain steadfast, 
perform his promises, and after a specified time 
send a war-canoe to fetch Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, 
they would then accede to his request. 

Taufaahau returned to his dominions, and 
immediately commenced the work of destruction 
upon the gods and themaraes. Having effected 
this at his own island, he proceeded through 
the group, exhorting and persuading the chiefs 
and inhabitants to follow his example. His 
efforts were successful in all the islands, with 
the exception of three or four; the chiefs and 
people of which were exceedingly indignant at 
such impious innovations, and resolved, if pos- 
sible, to counteract the effects of his unprece- 
dented conduct. For this purpose, they de- 
termined to celebrate a great festival, in honour 
of the gods whom the chief was then dese- 
crating ; and accordingly sent their fishermen 
to catch turtle and other sacred fish. Taufaahau, 
resolving to anticipate and neutralize this move- 
ment, drove a large herd of pigs into the sacred 
enclosure, converted a most beautiful little tem- 
ple, which stood in the middle of it, into a 
sleeping apartment for his female servants, and 
suspended the gods by the neck to the rafters 
of the house in which they had been adored '. 
The idolaters, ignorant of his proceedings, came, 
with great ceremony, attended by their priests, 
to present their offerings, and found, to their 
astonishment, a number of voracious pigs, ready to 
devour anything they had to offer ; and the gods, 
disrobed of their apparel, hanging in degrada- 
tion, like so many condemned criminals. They 
retired from the spectacle with great indigna- 
tion: but as they were comparatively few, and 
knew the character of the man with whom they 
had to contend, their rage spent itself like the 
foaming billow wheu it dashes upon the shore. 
The chief conducted us into this once sacred 
spot, the area of which did not exceed half an 
acre, and was adorned by several beautiful 
cordia Barringtonia, and other trees ; it also 
contained three houses, which were converted 
into dwellings for his female* attendants. Of 

Females were looked upon as so polluting;, that they 
were never allowed to enter the sacred precincts ; and 
even the presence of the pigs in the enclosure was not 
cunsiderai so dreadful a desecration as that of women. 

G 2 



these the middle house was the smallest, but it 
was the most complete and beautiful that could 
have been erected with their means and ma- 
terials, and surpassed any structure I had seen 
in the Pacific. I expressed my surprise to the 
chief, that they should bestow such immense 
labour in preparing so beautiful a residence for 
such worthless objects. " It is true," he replied, 
" they are worthless, they are pieces of wood, 
they are devils ; but we were formerly in the 
dark ; it is only lately that our hearts have been 
made light in the knowledge of the true God.' 
On observing five goddesses hanging by the 
neck, I requested this intrepid chief to give 
me one of them, which he immediately cut 
down and presented to me. I have brought 
it to England, with the very string around its 
neck by which it was hung : and I prize it the 
more highly, because it was one of the trophies 
of the moral conquests of the Gospel, achieved 
by Christians of another denomination. It 
shows us, that God does not intend to convert 
the world by any one section of his church, and 
that by whomsoever the Gospel is preached in 
simplicity and godly sincerity, the stamp of his 
gracious approbation will be impressed in the 
success which will crown their laborious and 
devoted efforts. 

After this truly wonderful man had given such 
indubitable proofs of his sincerity, he despatched 
a large war-canoe to Tonga, to fetch the de- 
voted Mr. and Mrs. Thomas ; who, committing 
themselves to the gracious protection of Him 
by whose love they were constrained, took an 
affectionate leave of their brethren, stepped on 
board the canoe, and cheerfully consented to 
dwell alone, at a distance of 200 miles from 
their brethren, and among a people just emerg- 
ing from barbarism. It is to my mind a most 
interesting consideration, that the Missionary 
who was to publish to them the glad tidings of 
peace, was conveyed in a vessel which had often 
been laden with sanguinary warriors, whom it 
had carried to the deadly conflict. 

Shortly after Mr Thomas's arrival, Finau, 
having heard with deep regret that his relative 
Taufaahau had renounced the religion of his 
fathers, selected one of his largest and best war- 
canoes, and sent it by one of his priests, as a 
present, to induce him to return to the wor- 
ship of the gods. On receiving the message 
this noble-spirited chief thus replied, " Tell Fi- 
nau, that I thank him for his present. You 
may, however, drag it up on the beach, and cut 
it up ; it will make excellent firewood ;" by 
which he intimated, that however much he 
valued the canoe, he considered it as so much 
fuel, if the price by which it was to become his, 
was to be a renunciation of the Gospel, and a 
return to the worship he despised. By such 
means, this interesting chieftain has gained, 
through the blessing of God upon his wise and 
resolute conduct, a most complete victory over 
the superstitions of his people. 

As no chapel had been erected, the chief had 
given the largest building in the island to be 
used for that purpose ; and although it would 
accomodate several hundred persons, Mr. Tho- 

mas informed us, that the number wl ich at- 
tended on the Sabbath preceding our arrival 
was so great as not only to fill the house, but 
also to form a large circle around it. The build- 
ing was formerly devoted to their dances and 
other amusements ; the drums, and other in- 
struments of merriment, were still hanging in 
all directions about the house. 

At the time of our arrival at Lefuga, the na- 
tives were about to hold a most singular marriage 
ceremony, for which preparations had been 
making upwards of twelve months. People from 
all the adjacent islands were convened. Finau 
also, with a large retinue, had come from Vavau ; 
so that a formidable fleet of large double canoes, 
most tastefully decorated with feathers and 
shells, was anchored in state off the settlement. 
Several others of equal dimensions had left 
Tonga the day before we sailed ; but as they 
had, native-like, loitered on the way, to get a 
turtle in one place and a pig in another, we had 
arrived and sailed again before they reached 
their destination. The preparations for this 
feast were certainly very great. In one en- 
closure which we passed, we saw at least a hun- 
dred large hogs, and in all parts of the settle- 
ment numbers of immense turtle were waiting 
the day of destruction. On the arrival of Finau 
and his followers from Vavau, seventy hogs, ten 
large turtle, and a thousand yams were baked 
for them. This was intended only as a small 
repast to commence with. A luncheon upon 
the same scale was in readiness for the Tonga 
party when they should arrive. The occasion 
of this feast was remarkable. Some time before, 
Taufaahau had a beautiful young woman, a sis- 
ter of Finau's wife, presented to him. They 
had been living together for several months, al- 
though no marriage ceremony had been per- 
formed ; for the formal celebration of marriage 
does not take place until months after it has 
been consummated. In the present instance, 
however, the chief bad determined to repudiate 
her, and send her home. But as this would 
have been deemed disgraceful to the wife, unless 
the marriage ceremony had first been performed, 
and as all such affairs are interwoven with the po- 
litics of the surrounding islands, the chief had 
determined to counteract every ill feeling, by 
the honour he would confer in the magnitude 
of his preparations. "We visited the young 
woman upon whose account these arrangements 
were made. She appeared about nineteen years 
of age, of fine person, handsome features, and 
agreeable manners. A pleasing peusiveness 
was apparent in her looks and general deport- 
ment ; for the prospect of the marr;age feast 
appeared to have excited in her mind feelings 
the opposite of those generally evinced by the 
animated countenances of English ladies, on 
the eve of keeping the marriage festival. 

Polygamy prevailed to a great degree in the 
whole of the Friendly Islands ; and in order to 
overcome the evil, and show his people a good 
example, this man of master-mind put away 
all his wives, and remained single for a consi- 
derable time ; and when the desired effect was 
produced, he selected one to whom he was pub- 



licly married. He has maintained a most 
decided and consistent profession of Christi- 
anity, ever since he embraced it, and at the 
present moment is one of the best and most 
efficient local preachers in the mission. But 
the last, though not the least display of noble- 
mindedness and Christian principle, was the 
circumstance of his emancipating all his slaves. 
This he did, in consequence of having heard 
from the Missionaries that slavery was incon- 
sistent with Christianity. I have been the more 
minute in these observations, because I admire 
the man, or rather, the grace of God in him. 


Sail fur the Navigators Fauea expresses his fears about 
Tamafainga Reach Savaii Astonishment of the 
Natives at seeing Europeans Tamafainga killed Cha- 
racter of Fauea Intercourse with the Natives Most 
favourable Reception The War Malietoa - The 
Author's narrow Escape. 

We now again bent our course for the Navi- 
gators or Samoa Islands. Fauea, the chief, was 
in high spirits, from the prospect of speedily 
seeing his nome, from which he had been so 
long absent ; yet there appeared an expression 
of great anxiety in his countenance. We had 
not been long at sea, when he came and sat 
himself down by my side, and said that he had 
been thinking of the great work before us, and 
although he had no doubt but that the chiefs 
would gladly receive us, and the common people 
all readily attend to Christian instruction, yet 
there was a person at Samoa, called Tamafainga, 
and if he opposed us, he feared that our efforts 
would be impeded. I asked him who this 
Tamafainga was ; when he informed me that 
he was the man in whom the spirit of the gods 
dwelt ; that he was the terror of all the inhabi- 
tants ; and that, if he forbade it, the people univer- 
sally would be afraid to place the mselves under our 
instruction. This was rather discouraging infor- 
mation ; we had, however, no alternative but to 
proceed, looking to God alone for guidance, 
protection, and success. We glided pleasantly 
along for some little time, with a fair wind; 
but it soon became adverse, and we encountered, 
for forty-eight hours a most furious storm, which 
rent our sails, and crippled us exceedingly. An 
influenza also broke out among our people, 
which laid aside nearly all on board ; and it was 
not until the seventh day after leaving Lefuga, 
in the month of August, 1830, that the cloud- 
capped mountains of the beautiful island of 
Savaii, which is the largest of the Navigators 
group, were descried. As the wind still blew 
furiously, and all our people were ill, we deter- 
mined, if possible, to find an anchorage, and 
ran to the leeward side of the island for the 
purpose ; but could not succeed. As soon, 
however, as we neared the shore, a num- 
ber of natives came off to us in their canoes, 
of whom Fauea asked a variety of questions, to 
all of which he received satisfactory answers. 
At length, with a tremulous voice, as if afraid 

to hear the reply, he said, " And where is 
Tamafainga* "Oh!" shouted the people, with 
evident delight, " he is dead, he is dead ! He 
was killed only about ten or twelve days ago !" 
Frantic with joy at this unexpected intelligence, 
Fauea leaped about the vessel, and ran towards 
me, shouting, " Ua mate le Devolo, ua mate le 
Devolo," &c. "The devil is dead, the devil is 
dead! our work is done: the devil is dead!" 
Astonished at this singular exclamation, I 
inquired what he meant ; when he replied, 
" The obstacle we dreaded is removed ; Tama- 
fainga is dead ; they have killed him ; the people 
now will all receive the lotu." On hearing this 
we could not be otherwise than deeply affected 
with the seasonable interposition of a gracious 
providence ; and we were encouraged to hope 
that the time to favour the people, yea, the set 
time was come. But here appears to me the 
most remarkable feature in this providence. 
Had this individual been put to death a month 
or two prior to my arrival, time would have 
been afforded for the chiefs of the various 
districts and islands to have met, and nominated 
a successor, who, from the nature of his office, 
would of necessity have opposed our designs ; 
but, as he had been killed only a few days, 
there had been not sufficient time to convene a 
meeting, and, consequently, there was no person 
in possession of that important office. 

From this intercourse we were convinced 
that Fauea was really a chief ; for his countrymen 
addressed him as such, the common people kissed 
his hands, and the chiefs saluted him by rub- 
bing noses. 

Finding ourselves sixty or eighty miles to 
leeward of the residence of Malietoa, the prin- 
cipal chief of the settlement which we intended 
to make our head-quarters, we had to beat 
against a very strong wind ; and on Sabbath- 
day, being thoroughly exhausted, our people all 
ill, and our sails much torn, we determined, if 
possible, to find an anchorage ; and, for that 
purpose, sailed into several bays, but without 
success. At length we thought we had suc- 
ceeded, and dropped our anchor, hoping to 
enjoy a quiet night, to rest ourselves and our 
sick people, and, after employing a day or two 
in repairing the damages which the vessel had 
sustained in the gale, to prosecute our voyage. 
As soon as the anchor was dropped, a number 
of natives came off to us, bringing with them 
females, and articles for barter. Fauea informed 
them that, as ours was e vaa lotu, a praying 
ship, women would not be received ; and that, 
as it was le aso sa, a sacred day, they must bring 
off food, and other articles for sale, in the morn- 
ing. This was to them extraordinary informa- 
tion. Fauea, however, gave them to under- 
stand who we were, and what was the object 
of our visit ; and, having gathered them in a 
circle around him, on the quarter-deck of our 
little ship, he informed them of the number of 
islands which had become Christian, naming 
Tahiti, Rarotonga, Tongatabu, and others ; and 
then specified some of the advantages which the 
inhabitants of those islands were deriving from 
the introduction of this new religion : to all 



which they listened with great interest, and ex- 
pressed considerable pleasure at the prospect of 
being instructed, especially if by so doing an end 
would be put to their fearful wars. " Can the 
religion of these wonderful papalangis * beany- 
thing but wise and good V said our friend to 
his naked countrymen, who by this time had 
filled the deck, and who, M-ith outstretched 
necks and gaping mouths, were eagerly catch- 
ing the words as they fell from his lips : " Let 
us look at them, and then look at ourselves ; 
their heads are covered, while ours are exposed 
to the heat of the sun, and the wet of the rain ; 
their bodies are clothed all over with beautiful 
cloth, while we have nothing but a bandage of 
leaves around our waist ; they have clothes upon 
their very feet, while ours are like the dogs' ; 
and then look at their axes, their scissors, and 
their other property, how rich they are!" They 
all appeared to understand and appreciate this 
reasoning, and gazed on us with great interest and 
surprise. Some of them then began to examine 
the different parts of our dress, when, not 
meeting, with any repulse, one pulled off my 
shoe. Startled at the appearance of the foot 
with the stocking on, he whispered to Fauea, 
" "What extraordinary people these papalangis 
are ; they have no toes as we have !" " Oh !" 
said our facetious friend, " did I not tell you 
that they had clothes upon their feet 3 feel them, 
and you will find that they have toes as well as 
ourselves." On finding out the secret, he was 
exceedingly delighted, and began chattering 
away to his countrymen about the wonderful 
discovery he had made. All of them came round 
us, and in a moment the other shoe was off, and 
both my own feet, and those of my excellent 
brother, underwent a thorough examination. 

After coming to an anchor, we had sent the 
teachers, their wives and families, with all our 
sick people, on shore. The chief of the 
bay received them with kindness, and sup- 
plied them with some food. A crowd, greater 
than that which surrounded us, collected about 
them, and the wife of Fauea was equally dili- 
gent with her husband in describing to the 
natives the wonders she had seen, and the value 
of the religion now brought to their islands. 
When the food was spread out, she stood up 
herself, and asked a blessing in an audible voice, 
in the presence of the assembled multitude. In 
the midst of all this interesting work, our vessel 
dragged her anchor, and we were driven to sea, 
with about forty fathoms of chain out, so that 
we were compelled, most reluctantly, to send 
the boat immediately and bring our people off 
again. After several hours of hard labour, we 
succeeded in hoisting in both chain and anchor. 
As the wind moderated during the night, we 
made considerable progress, and on Tuesday 
morning we found ourselves in the straits, 
between two of the largest and most beautiful 
islands we had yet beheld, having on the one 
side Savaii, being two hundred and fifty miles 
in circumference, and on the other Upolu, 
which is about two hundred. At the mouth 
of the straits, which are six or eight miles wide, 

are two small islands. One of these, called 
Aborima, is a huge rock, about two miles in 
circumference, and two or three hundred feet 
in height : the other, a beautiful little spot, 
called Manono, is the residence of chiefs and 
distinguished persons. It is exceedingly fertile, 
and clothed with the richest verdure ; but as I 
propose to give a geographical description of 
all the islands of this group in the account of 
my next voyage, I shall abstain from further 
remarks on that subject in this part of the 

By ten o'clock we reached the settlement of 
Sapapalii, where we intended to commence our 
labours, and to which Fauea belonged. In all 
our conversations with that individual, we were 
impressed with his intelligence , shrewdness, 
and good sense, but never more so than on the 
morning we arrived at the place of our desti- 
nation, when he led us to a private part of the 
vessel, and requested us to desire the teachers 
not to commence their labours among his coun- 
trymen by condemning their canoe-races, their 
dances, and other amusements, to which they 
were much attached, lest, in the very onset, they 
should conceive a dislike to the religion which 
imposed such restraints. " Tell them," said 
he, " to be diligent in teaching the people, to 
make them wise, and then their hearts will be 
afraid, and they themselves will put away that 
which is evil. Let the ' Word' prevail, and get 
a firm hold upon them, and then we may with 
safety adopt measures, which at first would 
prove injurious." Thus we were constrained 
to admire the goodness of God, in providentially 
bringing to us an individual whose character 
and connexions so admirably fitted him to ad- 
vance the objects we had in view. 

Our vessel was soon surrounded by canoes, 
and the deck crowded with natives, who were 
so agile, that they climbed like monkeys, over 
our boarding nettings, although these were ten 
feet in depth. At length we welcomed on 
board Tamalelangi, son of the skies, the brother 
of Malietoa, the principal chief of Sapapalii, 
and relative of Fauea. After the usual salu- 
tations, we requested Fauea to state to his re- 
lative the object of our visit, and also our wish 
immediately to land our people, with their wives 
and families, many of whom were suffering 
severely from long confinement in the vessel. 
A consultation was then held by the chiefs as 
to what should be done, when it was determined 
to send forthwith a messenger to Upolu, the 
seat of war, to inform Malietoa of our arrival, 
and to request his presence as soon as possible. 
It was also arranged that the teachers and Fauea 
should accompany Tamalelangi to the shore, 
and return on the following morning, if every- 
thing was favourable, for their families and 
property. A canoe was accordingly despatched 
to Upolu for Malietoa, and the teachers accom- 
panied his brother to the settlement. The 
pleasing prospect of accomplishing the object of 
our voyage excited feelings of the liveliest gra- 
titude, and we followed our friends with fervent 
prayer that God would graciously allow us to 
realize all the bright anticipations which the 



occurrences of that eventful day had led us to 

An interesting incident occurred in the course 
of the day, which gave us rather an exalted 
idea of the character of the people. Tamale- 
langiandhis brother, not knowing who we were, 
had brought off some pigs, bananas, and cocoa- 
nuts for sale : but, on seeing his relative Fauea, 
and on being informed of the kindness he had 
received from us, and the object of our visit, he 
ordered the pigs, with everything in his canoes, 
to be arranged on the deck, and then, presenting 
them to us, stated, that had they known, us, 

they should not have brought off anything for 
sale ; and that in the morning they would bring 
a more abundant supply. Every canoe around 
the ship followed his example. 

Our wishes were realized, and a full reward 
for all our perplexity, anxiety, and toil was 
granted, when early on the following morning, 
the teachers returned from the shore accompa- 
nied by the noble young chief, and about fifty 
canoes. They gave us the most nattering account 
of their reception, and seemed elated beyond 
measure with the prospect of success. In about 
two hours, the eight teachers, five women, tad 


ten children, took their property with them 
and left the vessel grateful and rejoicing. The 
poor heathen were a9 much delighted as them- 
selves. Thus auspiciously, in the month of 
August, 1830, was this important mission com- 

As we were expecting Malietoa from Upolu, 
we could not accompany the teachers, but pro- 
mised to follow them either in the evening, or 
on the following morning. While we were en- 
gaged in lading the canoes, our attention was 
arrested by observing the mountains on the 
opposite shore enveloped in flames and smoke ; 
and, when we inquired the cause of it, were in- 
formed that a battle had been fought that very 
morning, and that the flames which we saw were 
consuming the houses, the plantations, and the 
bodies of the women, children, and infirm people 
who had fallen into the hands of their sanguin- 
ary conquerors. Thus, while we were landing 
the messengers of the Gospel of peace on the 
one shore, the flames of a devastating war were 
blazing on the opposite ; and under these strik- 
ing circumstances was this interesting mission 

This disastrous war was occasioned by the 
death of Tarn afainga ; for although all parties 
heartily rejoiced at the event, yet as he was re- 
lated to the most influential families in the is- 
lands, they were bound, by the custom of the 
country, to avenge it. Several skirmishes had 
already taken place, and a general and terrible 

encounter was expected in a few days. It ap- 
peared that the people of Upolu, wearied with 
the outrages and oppressions of this tyrannical 
monster, whose rapacious grasp neither wives, 
daughters, nor property escaped, who had power 
of life and death, and who was actually wor- 
shipped as a god, had waylaid and murdered 

About four o'clock in the afternoon, in a 
heavy shower of rain, the celebrated old chief- 
tain Malietoa arrived. He appeared about sixty- 
five years of age, stout, active, and of command- 
ing aspect. Fauea saluted him with the greatest 
possible respect, bowing sufficiently low to kiss 
his feet, and making his child kiss even the soles 
of his feet. He was immediately invited into 
the cabin ; and, having no clothing except the 
girdle of A'-leaves worn by the people generally, 
and being excessively cold and wet, we gave him 
a large piece of Tahitian cloth, in which he 
wrapped himself, and with which he appeared 
much pleased. We then stated our object to 
him. With this he professed to be highly de- 
lighted, and said that he had heard of the lotu, 
and, being desirous of instruction, was truly glad 
that we had come to impart it. We expressed 
our deep regret at finding him engaged in so 
sanguinary a war, and inquired whether these 
differences could not be settled amicably, and 
the dreadful contest terminated. He replied, 
that as a person related to himself, and to all the 
principal chiefs, had been killed, they must 




avenge his death ; and that if he left the war 
unfinished, and his enemies unsubdued, h-5 
should be degraded in the estimation of his 
countrymen as long as he lived ; but he pro- 
mised that he would take care there should be 
no more wars after the present ; and that, as 
soon as it was terminated, he would come and 
place himself under the instruction of the teachers. 
He informed us that he had met the enemy 
early in the morning, when an encounter ensued, 
in which he drove them into the mountains, 
burnt their houses, and desolated their planta- 
tions, the destructive blaze of which we had 
seen, while, assisted by Tarnalelangi, we were 
landing the Missionaries on the opposite shore. 
How differently were these two brothers em- 
ployed at the same moment the one, with his 
ferocious warriors dealing misery and destruc- 
tion upon the objects of their savage vengeance 
the other, with his delighted people, convey- 
ing to their shores, with expressions of frantic 
joy, those who would teach them the principles, 
and impart to them the blessings, of the Gospel 
of peace ! We advanced every argument we 
could command to induce the old chieftain to 
make peace ; but he persisted in declaring that 
he could not do otherwise than prosecute the 
war until he had conquered his enemies. We 
then made him a present of two strings of large 
blue beads, which the natives prize above every 
other article, an axe, a chisel, a knife, and some 
Tahitian cloth, after which he took his leave, 
promising to come off in the morning, with his 
largest and best canoe, to convey us on shore. 

While Malietoa was on board a circumstance 
occurred, which from that moment to the pre- 
sent, I have never thought of but with mingled 
feelings of horror and gratitude. The natives, 
heathen-like, had surrounded our vessel, with 
great clamour, and climbing over the boarding- 
nettings, very soon filled the ship. This had 
excited in the young man I had as captain some 
apprehension, and, unknown to me, he loaded 
a small brass blunderbuss with eight bullets, 
and returned it to its usual place. The old 
chief perceiving this weapon, and thinking it 
would materially assist him in the conquest of 
his enemies, took it down, and began to ex- 
amine it. He cocked it, with its muzzle di- 
rected towards myself, and was just about to 
pull the trigger, when John Wright, our in- 
terpreter, said " stop, perhaps it is loaded." 
At this moment the captain rushed from the 
deck into the cabin, and exclaimed, " Oh, Sir, 
you have nearly been blown to atoms ! why did 
you let the chief touch that blunderbuss'? I 
have just loaded it with eight bullets ! " Thus 
have I been preserved from dangers and from 
death, by sea and by land, some designed, and 
some otherwise : but both from the one and the 
other has a gracious Providence protected me. 

During the night our vessel was drifted by 
the current to a distance from the settlement so 
considerable, that in the morning we were 
entirely out cf sight, and Malietoa, could not, in 
consequence, perform his promise of fetching 
us. Supposing the distance not above ten or 
twelve miles, and it being a dead calm, we 

determined to go on shore in our own boat. 
But we erred in our estimate ; and, although 
we left the vessel at between nine and ten 
o'clock in the morning, it was past eight in the 
evening when we landed. Providentially, it 
remained calm until we were within two or 
three miles of the shore, or we could not have 
reached it, as all our crew were ill. Mr. Barff 
and myself were compelled to tug at the oar 
during several hours ; besides which, in the 
severe gale we had encountered, something had 
fallen upon the boat, and made her so leaky, 
that it was with difficulty we could keep her 
above water. Being seen from the shore before 
sunset, Malietoa despatched a canoe to our as- 
sistance, which conducted us to the landing 
place. An immense crowd had assembled to 
witness, I believe, the very first Englishmen 
who set foot upon their shores. What an ad- 
vantage it would have been to the pagan abori- 
gines of every country, if the first civilized 
beings by whom they were visited had gone on 
the same errand of mercy, and conveyed to them 
the same blessings which it was our object to 
impart to this interesting people ! 

The scene which presented itself on our 
landing was unique and most remarkable. The 
natives had kindled a large fire to serve as a 
beacon, and multitudes had supplied themselves 
with torches of dry cocoa-nut and other leaves, 
to conduct us to the chief's dwelling. A pas- 
sage was opened for us through the dense 
crowd, who were kept in order by a sort of 
native police, armed with spears and clubs, and 
stationed there for the purpose ; and, though 
we compassionated the unlucky sufferers, we 
were not a little amused to witness the severe 
blows which were occasionally dealt out by 
these officials upon the thick craniums of all 
who transgressed their orders. In the mean 
time, some were busily employed in supplying 
the fire ; some in conveying various articles 
from the boat ; others in carrying them to our 
lodgings ; whilst a crowd, anxious to testify 
their good feeling, as soon as orders were given, 
rushed into the water to haul up the boat. The 
majority, however, had enough to do to gaze 
upon the wonderful strangers, and for this pur- 
pose they climbed the cocoa-nut and other trees, 
upon the trunks and branches of which they 
were seen in clusters, by the red glare of the 
fire and the torches, peeping with glistening 
eyes and wondering look from amongst the rich 
dark foliage which surrounded them. 

In these circumstances we proceeded to pay 
our respects to Malietoa. Mr. Barff and my- 
self had each a guard of honour, nor did we 
meet again until we arrived at the chief's 
residence. The natives vied with each other 
to snow us every possible attention, some by 
carrying flambeaux, while others with their 
formidable weapons kept all intruders at a re- 
spectful distance. As we were walking along, 
having intimated to the young chief that I 
was exceedingly fatigued from labouring the 
whole day in the boat, he uttered something to 
his people, and in an instant a number of stout 
fellows seized me, some by my legs, and others 



by my arms, one placing his hand under my 
body, another, unable to obtain so large a 
space, poking a finger against me, and thus, 
sprawling at full length upon their extended 
arms and hands, I was carried a distance of 
half a mile, and deposited safely and carefully 
in the presence of the chief and his principal 
wife, who, seated on a fine mat, received us 
with all the etiquette of heathen royalty. A 
beautiful mat having been spread for us, we 
squatted down upon it, and stated to his ma- 
jesty that we had not come to transact business 
with him then, but simply to pay our respects 
before we retired to rest. He expressed him- 
self pleased to see us, gave us a cordial welcome 
to the shores of Savaii, and requested that we 
would take up our abode at his house ; but, as 
our people were so unwell, and our stay would 
be short, we begged to be allowed, while we 
remained, to reside with them. On going from 
the house of Malietoa to that allotted by his 
brother for the residence of the teachers, we 
passed a dancing-house, in which a number of 
performers were entertaining a large company 
of spectators. On looking in, we ohserved two 
persons drumming on an instrument formed of 
a mat wound tight round a framework of reeds, 
and six young men, and two young women 
jumping about with great violence, and making 
motions with their hands and feet in time with 
the drummers, while others contributed to the 
rude harmony by singing a song in honour of 
the arrival of " the two great English chiefs." 
"We saw nothing bordering upon indecency in 
the performance, which, however, required so 
much exertion, that the bodies of both the males 
and females were streaming with perspiration. 

On arriving at the teachers' residence, we 
were grieved to find most of them suffering 
from influenza. Two of these we bled, and 
administered to others such medicines, as we 
thought would afford them relief. They were 
delighted with the treatment they had received 
from the people generally, and with the cir- 
cumstance that, although their property had 
been distributed in many different canoes, and 
conveyed from them by various hands, not a 
single article was missing. At first, indeed, 
the teachers had endured considerable appre- 
hension about their children, some of whom 
were not brought to them until several hours 
after their arrival. Upon inquiry, however, 
they found that those natives who had been so 
fortunate as to obtain a child to bring on shore, 
instead of carrying it direct to its parents, first 
took it to then - own residence, killed a pig, pre- 
pared an oven of food, gave the child a thorough 
good " feeding" of the best they could procure, 
and, having kept it as long as they dared, brought 
it to the anxious parents. All this was most 
delightful intelligence, and our hearts must have 
been insensible indeed if it had not excited 
feelings of the liveliest gratitude. 

The teachers' wives prepared for us a cup of 
tea, the very first ever made on the island of 
Savaii ; and, after family prayer, they screened 
off an apartment with native cloth, where we 
stretched our weary limbs upon our mats, and, 

using a bundle of dried grass for a pillow, closed 
our eyes in sleep, thankful to God for having 
prospered our way far beyond our most sanguine 


An interesting Meeting Interchange of Presents Cere- 
monies observed on the occasion A display of noble 
feeling between the two Brothers A newly purchased 
Bride Marriage Ceremony Female Degradation 
Matetau His Person His desire for a Missionary 
Remarks Fauea's Character. 

Malietoa, being anxious that four of the teach- 
ers should take up their abode with him, had 
sent repeated messages on the preceding day tu 
that effect ; to which our people replied, that, 
as we were expected on shore very shortly, they 
wished to defer a removal until we arrived. On 
being informed of this, we determined to place 
four of the teachers under his care, and to give 
the others in charge to his brother, who brought 
them on shore. Having made this arrangement, 
we thought it advisable to divide the present 
we intended to make into two equal parts : the 
one for the elder, the other for the younger bro- 
ther. This consisted of one red and one white 
shirt, six or eight yards of English print, three 
axes, three hatchets, a few strings of sky-blue 
beads, some knives, two or three pairs of scis- 
sors, a few small looking-glasses, hammers, 
chisels, gimlets, fish-hooks, and some nails. 
Everything being prepared, we proceeded to 
the chief's large dancing-house, where we found 
a great concourse of people waiting to witness 
this important interview with le alii papalangi, 
or the English kings. 

On our arrival being announced, Malietoa 
sent two of his own daughters to spread mats 
for us to sit upon. They were fine-looking 
young women, about eighteen and twenty years 
of age, wearing a beautiful mat about the waist, 
a wreath of flowers as a head-dress, and a string 
of blue beads around the neck. The upper part 
of their person was uncovered, and anointed 
rather profusely with scented cocoa-nut oil. 

As soon as we had taken our seats Malietoa 
made his appearance, bringing in his hands two 
beautiful mats, and a large piece of native cloth, 
one end of which was wrapped round him and 
the other formed a train which an elderly female 
bore lightly from the ground. Having placed 
these with the usual ceremony at my feet, he 
returned, and shortly after came in the same 
manner, and laid similar articles at the feet of 
my colleague. He then took his seat opposite 
to us, the people having formed a circle around 
us ; and, in the first place, we thanked him for 
his present, but added, that to obtain his pro- 
perty was not the object of our visit ; for we 
had come exclusively to bring him and his 
people the knowledge of the true God, and to 
place on their island persons to teach them the 
way of salvation ; and we now wished to know 
whether he was willing that they should re- 
main, and whether he would allow his people 
to be instructed % He replied that he was truly 
thankful to us for coming, and that he would 



receive the teachers, and treat them with kind- 
ness. "We then explicitly inquired whether he 
and his people would consent to be instructed, 
or whether there would be any obstruction 
throw in the way 1 To this he made answer, 
" I and my people must now go over to Opolu 
to the war ; but immediately after my return I 
will become a worshipper of Jehovah, and 
place myself under the instruction of the teach- 
ers. In the mean time this house * is yours 
as a temporary place in which to teach and 
worship ; and when we come from the war we 
will erect any building you may require, and 
all the people who remain at home can come 
to-morrow, if they please, and begin to learn 
about Jehovah and Jesus Christ." 

After these assurances, we informed the chief 
that vve should place our people under the 
special protection of himself and his brother, 
and expected that he would preserve the teach- 
ers' wives from insult, and their property 
from pillage. This both of them most readily 
promised to do. Malietoa then requested that 
four of the teachers might be directed to come and 
reside with him, and the others to remain with 
his brother ; and, having promptly consented 
to this, he pointed out two houses which he 
intended to present to them for their residence, 
and said, if they desired it, they could have 
another. We then informed him that either 
Mr. BarfF or myself would endeavour to visit 
them again in ten or twelve months, and, if we 
found that he had fulfilled his promises, English 
Missionaries would come to carry on the work, 
which those now settled among them might 

We then desired one of our people to open a 
basket, and place before the two chiefs the 
articles we had brought as a present. The 
scene that followed both amused and delighted 
us ; for, as soon as the articles were laid out, 
the chief took up first an axe, and, placing 
it upon his head, exclaimed, " Faafetai le toi 
tele ;" " Thank you for this large axe ; " and, 
having observed the same ceremony with every 
other article, he concluded by saying, " Thank 
you for all, thank you for all." He then said 
that, delighted as he was with his valuable pre- 
sent, he thought far more of us than of our gift ; 
that, though he was always a great man, yet he 
felt himself a greater man that day than ever he 
was before, because two great English chiefs had 
come to form his acquaintance, and bring him 
good. " This," continued the delighted chief- 
tain, " is the happiest day of my life, and I 
rejoice that I have lived to see it." In future I 
shall consider ourselves and you as ainga tasi, 
one family, and hope you will do the same." 

Just at this moment our attention was arrested 
by an incident, in which a nobleness of feeling 
was displayed by the two chiefs, that gave us an 
exalted idea of their general character, and such 
as we could scarcely have expected to find 
among a people who had been represented as 

The house in which we were assembled, and which 
was the largest building in the settlement, was a kind of 
public property, in which all business was transacted and 
their dances and amusements of various kinds performed. 

in so savage a state. After our presents were 
laid before Malietoa and his brother Tamale- 
langi, the latter examined the articles minutely, 
took out a knife and gave it to his son, and a 
looking-glass and a pair of scissors to each of 
his wives ; and then, having replaced the whole 
of the other articles in the basket, he laid them 
down in the presence of his elder brother, 
Malietoa, and said, " I was not aware that a 
distinct present would have been given to me. 
I expected that all would have been yours. 
Allow me, therefore, to pass all over to you : 
you are my elder brother, and I shall be pleased 
at receiving whatever you think well to give me." 
Malietoa was evidently gratified with this mark 
of respect shown to him in the presence of such 
an assemblage ; but with a noble disinterested- 
ness, equal to that evinced by his brother, he 
replied, " No, brother ; these alii papalangi, 
English kings, have givon it to you ; it is all 
yours, and you must keep it." 

At the close of this important and interesting 
interview, Malietoa informed his people, who 
had been gazing with wonder upon the novel 
proceedings, that a large quantity of valuable 
property had been given to him, and that the 
English chiefs, to whom he was indebted for it, 
would want something to eat on their return ; 
"for," said he, "there are no pigs running about 
upon the sea, neither is there any bread-fruit 
growing there." Upon hearing this, the whole 
company instantly arose and scampered away ; 
and in about an hour they returned, bringing 
with them fifteen pigs of various sizes, with a 
large quantity of bread-fruit, yams, and other 
vegetables, the whole of which the chief pre- 
sented to us, and observed, that it would have 
been much more but for the war, during which 
everything was quickly consumed. Immediately 
after this he sent for the teachers, four of whom, 
with their wives and families, took up their re- 
sidence with him ; the other four remained with 
his brother. 

We spent the evening of the day with the 
teachers in prayer and conversation, and were 
much pleased with the spirit they evinced. We 
endeavoured to impress upon them the advan- 
tage of being of one heart and one mind in their 
great work, particularly cautioning them against 
little petty jealousies, and everything that had 
the appearance of two parties. We advised 
them, if the chiefs wished to build two places 
of worship, to use every effort to induce them 
to unite in erecting one only, in some central 
spot ; but, should they persist in having two, 
we recommended them to assist in the erection 
of both, and to interchange every Sabbath day 
in conducting the worship, that nothing having 
the semblance of opposite interests, or identifi- 
cation Avith either party, might be apparent. 
They all saw the propriety of this advice, and 
promised to act in accordance with it. This 
cannot be impressed too powerfully upon the 
minds of Missionaries. Those petty jealousies, 
which sometimes exist in the hearts of truly 
good men, are much to be deplored ; they mar 
their comfort, and are as a millstone around the 
neck of their usefulness. 



Gratified with the events of the day, and 
thankful to God for having so abundantly pros- 
pered our undertaking, we once more stretched 
our weary limbs upon our mats ; but our rest 
was much disturbed by a company of warriors, 
who had just arrived from some other parts of 
the island, and who kept up a rude and noisy 
dance, to still ruder music, during the whole of 
the night. 

Early the next morning, Malietoa sent a mes- 
senger, requesting us to come to his house. We 
immediately obeyed the summons, and found 
his majesty seated upon the pavement which 
surrounded his residence. A mat being spread 
for us, we sat down, and inquired the business 
for which we were summoned ; when he replied 
that, having been informed that our water-casks 
were empty, as it would be inconvenient to fill 
them at his settlement, where there was no safe 
anchorage, he wished to acquaint us that there 
was a fine harbour at Upolu, where we could 
obtain, with ease, as much water as we required. 
We thanked him for his information ; but inti- 
mated that, as it was the seat of war, we might 
be exposed to danger from both parties, for, at 
the islands with which we were acquainted, it 
was a common thing to strip a friend of all that 
he possessed, to prevent his property from fall- 
ing into the hands of his enemies, and this also 
might be their practice. He replied, there was 
no danger, and that he himself would go to 
protect us, and assist in procuring all that we 
wanted, but that we must wait a day or two, as 
he could not possibly accompany us immedi- 
ately. It being rather an unusual thing with 
natives to have any very pressing engagements 
to prevent their prompt attention to any object 
they had in view, we were anxious to learn the 
cause of the delay ; when we were informed 
that he had sent some axes and other things, 
which we had given him, to purchase a hand- 
some young wife, who had just arrived, and that 
the ceremony of marriage was now about to 
commence. A group of women, seated under 
the shade of a noble tree which stood at a short 
distance from the house, chanted, in a pleasing 
and lively air, the heroic deeds of the old chief- 
tain and his ancestors ; and opposite to them, 
beneath the spreading branches of a bread-fruit 
tree, sat the newly-purchased bride, a tall and 
beautiful young woman, about eighteen years of 
age. Her dress was a fine mat, fastened round 
the waist, reaching nearly to her ankles ; while 
a wreath of leaves and flowers, ingeniously and 
tastefully entwined, decorated her brow. The 
upper part of her person was anointed with 
sweet-scented cocoa-nut oil, and tinged partially 
with a rouge prepared from the turmeric-root, 
and round her neck were two rows of large 
blue beads. Her whole deportment was pleas- 
ingly modest. While listening to the chanters, 
and looking upon the novel scene before us, our 
attention was attracted by another company of 
women, who were following each other in single 
file, and chanting as they came the praises of 
their chief. Sitting down with the company 
who had preceded them, they united in one 
general chorus, which appeared to be a recital 

of the valorous deeds of Malietoa and his pro- 
genitors. This ended, a dance in honour of the 
marriage was commenced, which was considered 
one of their grandest exhibitions, and held in 
high estimation by the people. The performers 
were four young women, all daughters of chiefs 
of the highest rank, who took their stations at 
right angles on the fine mats with which the 
dancing-room was spread for the occasion, and 
then interchanged positions with slow and grace- 
ful movements, both of their hands and feet, 
while the bride recited some of the mighty do- 
ings of her forefathers. To the motions of the 
dancers, and to the recital of the bride, three 
or four elderly women were beating time upon 
the mat with short sticks, and occasionally join- 
ing in chorus with the recitative. We saw 
nothing in the performance worthy of admira- 
tion, except the absence of everything indelicate 
a rare omission in heathen amusements. We 
were informed that most of the wives of the 
principal chiefs were purchased ; and that, if a 
sufficient price is paid to the relatives, the young 
woman seldom refuses to go, though the pur- 
chaser be ever so old and unlovely. I prayed 
that, by the blessing of God upon our labours, 
the day might speedily arrive when these in- 
teresting females should be elevated from this 
terrible degradation, and, by the benign influ- 
ence of Christianity, be raised to the dignity of 
companionship with their husbands, and occupy 
that station in the social and domestic circle 
which the females of Tahiti, Rarotonga, and 
other islands, have attained since the introduc- 
tion of the Gospel. 

As I purpose, at the conclusion of the Nar- 
rative, to give a geographical description of the 
islands, together with an account of some of the 
remarkable usages of the people, I shall defer 
noticing many other interesting incidents, which 
occurred at this period, till I come to speak 
upon those topics. 

Having now accomplished all we could, we 
thought of our beloved wives and children at 
home, and prepared for our departure. After 
commending our friends to the gracious protec- 
tion of God, and supplicating his special bless- 
ing upon their labours, we walked down to the 
beach, accompanied by the teachers, their wives 
and children, who wept bitterly at parting from 
us. Some of them had been members of our 
churches eight or ten years, had acled consist- 
ently, and had thus proved themselves, worthy 
of our esteem. Many hundreds also of the 
natives crowded round us, by all of whom we 
were treated with the greatest possible respect, 
and these rent the air with their affectionate 
salutations, exclaiming, Ole alofa i le alii, 
" Great is our affection for you English chiefs." 

Matetau, the chief of the neighbouring island 
of Manono, having come to see us, we were 
desirous of showing him respect by making him 
a present, and therefore requested him to ac- 
company us to the vessel. He was described 
as equal in rank, and superior in war, to Malie- 
toa. This we could easily believe, for he was 
one of the largest and most powerful men I 
ever saw. His muscular and bony frame brought 



forcibly to our minds him of ancient fame, 
" the shaft of whose spear was like the weaver's 
beam." Men of ordinary size would be as 
grasshoppers in his hand. This chief spent a 
day and a night with us, and was exceedingly 
urgent that we should give him a teacher, and 
pressed his claim by assuring me that he would 
feed him, and place himself under his instruc- 
tion, and make all his people do the same. 
Having no teacher left, I satisfied him by pro- 
mising that on my next visit I would bring him 
one ; but, as he had observed, by way of inducing 
me to do so, that he would make his people 
place themselves under his instruction, I thought 
it advisable at once to tell him that he must 
not force them, contrary to their own wishes, 
but, having set them the example himself, and 
exhorted them to follow it, then to leave them 
to their own convictions and inclinations ; 
but the employment of any kind of coercion to 
induce men to become Christians was contrary 
to the principles of our religion. 

Arriving off the beautiful little island of Ma- 
nono, we presented our gigantic guest with two 
axes, two hatchets, four knives, two pairs of 
scissors, a small looking-glass, and some blue 
beads ; on receiving which, he seized us by the 
head, gave us a hearty rub with his nose, leaped 
hastily into his canoe, and sailed away, highly 
delighted with his present, and not less so with 
the prospect of having a teacher to instruct him. 
By the unexpected return of his canoe, we per- 
ceived that the reason of his hasty departure 
was to express his gratitude by bringing us 
some food for our long voyage. While Matetau 
was on board the second time, we perceived the 
canoe of Malietoa paddling towards us, on the 
prow of which was seated the newly-purchased 
bride. "We instantly backed our sails, and 
waited the approach of the illustrious pair. On 
coming on board, Malietoa informed us that he 
was going to the war, which he would conclude 
as soon as possible, and return to Sapapalii, and 
that he was taking his new wife with him, lest 
she should run away home again during his 
absence, in which case he should have to re-pur- 
chase her. 

The meeting again of these two chiefs on 
board our vessel relieved us from great per- 
plexity, for the influenza, with which our people 
had all been so dreadfully afflicted, had proved 
fatal to one of our number, who was then lying 
dead. Being so near land, we did not like to 
bury the body in the sea, and we were appre- 
hensive of taking it to the shore, lest, should 
any disease break out among the natives, it 
might be attributed to this circumstance, and 
excite their superstitious fears. On stating to 
the chiefs our perplexity, Malietoa relieved us, 
by proposing to convey the corpse to a small 
island, about hall a mile from the main land, 
and have it interred there. 

The person who had died was deformed, and 
we have invariably found that severe colds and 
influenza are particularly fatal to such people. 
He had been in my employ for several years, 
and I have good reason to believe that, although 
of a hasty temper, he both knew and loved the 

truth. I regretted not being with him in his 
laot hours, that I might have known the state of 
his mind, and administered to him the consola- 
tions of the Gospel. It is, however, a matter 
of joy and satisfaction to every child of God to 
be assured, that neither his own eternal felicity, 
nor that of departed friends, depends upon a 
happy death, but upon a holy life. 

Having thus given a brief and hasty account 
of the principal events which occurred during 
our first voyage to the Navigators and Samoa 
Islands, it may neither be uninteresting nor 
unprofitable to pause, and erect an Ebenezer of 
praise to that God who protected our lives, di- 
rected our course, and opened before us so 
" great and effectual a door:" thus permitting 
us to realize more than the full accomplishment 
of our most sanguine expectations. We scarcely 
expected to secure any more than a safe and 
peaceable settlement for our teachers ; and even 
that had not been obtained on the first visit at 
any other islands where Missionaries had been 
previously established. In some places, indeed, 
the teachers landed at the peril of their lives ; 
and in almost all the Hervey Islands they were 
plundered and ill used ; while here they were 
welcomed with open arms, both by chiefs and 
people, who vied with each other in expressions 
of kindness and delight. Instead of losing their 
property, four excellent dwellings were given 
to them, and the very best and largest house in 
the settlement was set apart for public worship 
and instruction. In addition to this, we our- 
selves were permitted to land in safety, and to 
live amongst the people, not only without mo- 
lestation and dread, but distinguished by every 
mark of their attention and respect, and impor- 
tuned by neighbouring chiefs to furnish them 
also with Missionaries. Thus auspiciously was 
this interesting and important mission com- 
menced, through the merciful interposition of 
an overruling Providence, who is pleased to 
make use of human instrumentality in accom- 
plishing his mightiest works. No doubt, much 
of this success was attributable, under God, to 
Fauea, with whom we met so providentially, 
and who was so admirably adapted to further 
our important embassy. His relationship to 
the principal chiefs was a circumstance of no 
small moment, for it was almost certain that, 
had we not met with him, we should not have 
gone to the place we did, and of course should 
not have known Malietoa. He was a man of 
great decision, and not easily diverted from his 
purpose. Having once expressed my fear lest 
Malietoa and his countrymen should not receive 
the teachers, he replied, " If they do not receive 
them kindly and treat them well, I will go to 
a strange land and die there." Fauea also pos- 
sessed such soundness of judgment and fluency 
of speech as would rivet the attention of listen- 
ing multitudes for hours together, and always 
secure him the victory in a dispute. After 
reaching his home, he and his wife were con- 
stantly engaged in describing the triumphs of 
the Gospel at Tongatabu, where Tupou, the 
greatest chief in the island, had embraced it, 
and at the Hapai Islands, where all the people 



had become Christians. Facts, so well attested 
and so forcibly described, had immense weight 
with the natives. Of this we had an interesting 
proof. When they were told by him, that those 
who had embraced this religion could commu- 
nicate their thoughts to each other at a distance, 
and while residing even at a jemote island, they 
flocked to the teachers' houses to learn this 
mysterious art, many of them coming eight or 
ten times each day, to be taught their letters. 

We considered that Fauea's wife possessed 
more principle than her husband, who was an 
ambitious and aspiring man, and evidently pro- 
moted our designs, chiefly on account of the 
temporal advantages which would result from 
the introduction of Christianity among his peo- 
ple. He had also penetration enough to see 
that his family would be raised in the estimation 
of his countrymen, by forming an intimacy with 
English chiefs ; and that his own name would 
be transmitted to posterity as the person who 
conducted the Missionaries to their islands. But 
whatever his motives and character might have 
been, his zealous and unceasing endeavours 
eminently forwarded our designs. All these 
circumstances considered, we cannot but con- 
clude, that, in first going to Tongatabu, we were 
led by an unerring hand, and that our meeting 
unexpectedly with such an efficient assistant as 
Fauea, was a remarkable and interesting inti- 
mation of Providence that the set time for God 
to accomplish his purposes of mercy to the Sa- 
moa islanders was come. There are two little 
words in our language which I always admired, 
try, and trust. You know not what you can or 
cannot effect, until you try; and if you make 
your trials in the exercise of trust in God, 
mountains of imaginary difficulties will vanish 
as you approach them, and facilities will be af- 
forded which you never anticipated ! 


Compelled by contrary wind to leave Savage Island 
Arrival at Rarotonga Visit to Arorangi Beauty of the 
Settlement Arrival at Eurutu Incidents there Ar- 
rival at Tahiti Visit to Afareaitu Meeting there 
Vara's Character and Death Me The Warrior and 
the Drop of Blood. 

Leaving the Samoa group, we directed our 
course to Savage Island, for the purpose of 
landing the two young men whom we had 
taken away, and who, though now reconciled 
to us, were exceedingly anxious to return. Very 
favourable impressions had been made on one of 
them, but the other resisted every effort to in- 
struct him. Much to our discomfit, we were so 
baffled by calms and light winds, that we were 
a fortnight in sailing three hundred miles ! In 
consequence of this unexpected detention, our 
provisions and water began to run short, and 
having to perform a voyage of eighteen hundred 
miles against the prevailing wind, we were com- 
pelled to take advantage of a favourable breeze 
which sprang up, and abandon our intention of 
visiting Savage Island. 

The two youths were a little disappointed at 
not being conveyed home, but when I informed 

them that, by accompanying us to Eaiatea, they 
would receive some valuable presents, they rea- 
dily acceded to our proposal. 

A few months after our return home, the 
Messenger of Peace was engaged to convey Mr. 
and Mrs. Crook and family to New South Wales, 
and the two youths were committed to their 
care, and by them safely landed on the shores 
of their own benighted island. As I had no 
opportunity of visiting them again previous to 
my embarkation for England, I am not aware 
of the effect their visit has produced upon their 
savage countrymen. 

Hoping that our favourable wind would con- 
tinue, we steered for Rarotonga, which we hap- 
pily reached in seven days, having sailed in that 
time a distance of eight hundred miles due east : 
an extraordinary occurrence in those latitudes, 
where the trade wind, with few variations, pre- 
vails from the eastward. On arriving oft* Aro- 
rangi, the settlement of which Papeiha had the 
charge, we passed close to the shore, and were 
truly glad to perceive, from the multitude as- 
sembled on the sandy beach to greet us as we 
passed, that " the plague was stayed." The 
neat white cottages that peeped at us through 
the banana and other trees as we glided along, 
together with the spacious chapel in the centre 
of the settlement, presented a most delightful 
and animated scene. Passing swiftly on, we 
reached Avarua about four o'clock in the after- 
noon, where we came safely to anchor, and on 
landing were met by my excellent brother Mr. 
Buzacott, the king, and a multitude of people, 
who, with joy beaming on their countenances, 
were waiting to welcome us to their shores. On 
inquiring about that terrible disease which was 
raging with such awful fatality when we last vi- 
sited them, they replied, " Oh, you carried it 
away with you, for we began to recover imme- 
diately after your visit, and Rarotonga is again 
Rarotonga ;" and then they leaped about and 
shouted for joy. I was truly glad to find that 
they were busily employed in subduing the 
weeds, and in restoring their island again to 
its previous beautiful order. Makea and the 
people generally were inexpressibly delighted 
at hearing that I had found Manuka, the island, 
it will be recollected, from which, according to 
their tradition, came the great and mighty Ka- 
rika, the progenitor of the present Makea fa- 

We spent two or three such happy days with 
our brethren and their kind people, that the 
toils and dangers of our voyage were entirely 
forgotten. A few interesting incidents also oc- 
curred, which I shall briefly notice. 

In passing from Avarua to Ngatangiia, our 
old friend Buteve, the cripple, seated himself 
on his stone chair by the way-side, and on see- 
ing us approach, he crawled upon his knees 
into the middle of the path, and talked in lively 
terms of the goodness of God in " stilling the 
raging tempest." He informed us, that on one 
occasion, when an armed party were passing 
by, he crawled out, and placing himself in their 
front, said to them, " Friends, why do you de- 
sire war in the peaceful reign of Jesus the Son 



of God! Had we not enough of that when we 
were Satances? Return to your habitations, 
and cease by your turbulent spirits, to disturb 
the peace and comfort which the Gospel has in- 
troduced amongst us." " Instead of listening 
to me," said Buteve, " they called me names, 
and brandished their spears. I told them that 
they might spear me, but that they could not 
spear God, who could conquer them when he 
pleased ; and this," added the cripple, " he has 
now most effectually done. Our own wicked- 

ness brought this terrible judgment upon us ; 
but having repented of our folly, God has heard 
our prayers, rebuked the disease, and Rarotonga 
is again Rarotonga." 

Having received a pressing request from Pa- 
peiha the teacher, and Tinomana the chief, to 
visit their station, although anxious to return 
home, we felt that it would be unkind not to 
gratify them, and certainly we were well repaid 
for the sacrifice. The site of this newly-formed 
settlement was an extensive plot of flat land, 















stretching from the sea to the mountains. The 
houses stood several hundred yards from the 
beach, and were protected from the glare of 
the sea by the rich foliage of rows of large Bar- 

ringtonia and other trees which girt the shore. 
The settlement was about a mile in length, and 
perfectly straight, with a wide road down the 
middle ; on either side of which were rows of 



the tufted-top ti-tree, whose delicate and beauti- 
ful blossoms, hanging beneath their plume- 
crested tops, afforded an agreeable shade, and 
rendered the walk delightful. The cottages of 
the natives were built in regular lines, about 
fifty yards from the border of this broad path- 
way, and about the same distance from each 
other. The chapel and school-house stand in 
the centre of the settlement ; and by their pro- 
minence, both in size and situation, the natives 
would appear to express the high value they 
attach to the means of religious instruction. 
Every house has doors and Venetian windows, 
which are painted partly with lamp-black, pro- 
cured from the candle-nut, and partly with red 
ochre and other preparations. The contrast 
between these and the snowy whiteness of the 
coral-lime gives the whole a chaste and ani- 
mated appearance ; and as the houses are all 
new, and of nearly equal dimensions, the settle- 
ment possesses a uniformity which is seldom 
found among the South Sea islanders. The 
portion of ground between the pathway and the 
house is either tastefully laid out and planted 
as a garden, or strewed with black and white 
pebbles, which gives to the whole an air of 
neatness and respectability creditable alike to 
their ingenuity and industry. 

Having spent a day most delightfully with 
these kind-hearted people, we returned to Ava- 
rua, and took our departure, rejoicing that the 
wind had permitted us to call at Rarotonga, and 
witness the pleasing contrast between the sick- 
ness, death, and dejection, which prevailed when 
we last visited the island, and the health, pros- 
perity, and happiness by which they had been 

As the wind continued fair we called atMan- 
gaia and Rurutu.* At the latter island we were 
informed that Puna the teacher, with his wife 
and family, and several natives, had left for 
Raiatea, six months before, in a large boat, 
which he had built for the purpose ; but as they 
had not reached it prior to our sailing, we con- 
cluded that they were lost at sea. We were 
gratified to find, that ever since their teachers 
left them, this interesting people had continued 
to observe all their religious services, and that 
Auura the chief officiated as minister; and it 
was a delightful proof of their religious prin- 
ciple that, although without a guide, they had 
also kept up their Missionary prayer-meetings 
and anniversaries. During the previous year 
they had contributed seven hundred and fifty 
bamboos of cocoa-nut oil to the Society. "While 
here we several times preached to the people, 
many of whom we baptized, with their house- 

* I have not spoken of any of my visits to Rimatara, a 
beautiful little island, about seventy miles west of Ru- 
rutu. We first heard of it from Auura ; and Christianity 
being established at Rurutu, we succeeded in imparting 
the same blessings to the inhabitants of Rimatara. My 
esteemed colleagues, Mes>rs. Threlkeld and Orsmond, 
were the first Europeans who visited it. As Mr. Threl- 
keld has been must grossly libelled and misrepresented 
in New South Wales, I feel much pleasure in stating that 
he was my coadjutor for seven years; and from the inti- 
mate intercourse which subsisted between us, I can con- 
fidently assert that a more worthy and devoted Misssonary 
no Society ever had, and a man of more inflexible inte- 
grity and honorable principle is rarely to be met with. 

holds. They were unanimous in their request 
that I would bring them another teacher, with 
a pious and intelligent wife, saying, that one- 
handed people were very good, but that two- 
handed people were much better ; and I regret- 
ted exceedingly that I was notable to send them 
one before I left the islands. 

Leaving Rurutu, we reached Tahiti, a dis- 
tance of three hundred and fifty miles, in forty- 
eight hours ! It is worthy of special notice, that 
after the fair wind sprung up, two hundred miles 
west of Savage Island, we sailed, in the short 
space of fifteen days, a distance of about seven- 
teen or eighteen hundred miles to the eastxoard 
an instance perhaps unparalleled in the history 
of tropical navigation. On arriving at Tahiti 
v/e were cordially welcomed by our brethren, 
who having heard of numerous shipwrecks since 
we sailed, had entertained serious apprehensions 
on our account. Their fears, however, were now 
removed, and they were delighted to hear of the 
success of our enterprise. 

As soon as our friends at Aimeo heard of our 
being at Tahiti, we received from Mr. Orsmond's 
station the following letter : 

" Afareaitu, September 2nd, 1830. 
" Dear Friends,Williamu and MitiPapu,* 

" May the blessing of the true God attend 
you, and of Jesus Christ our Saviour. By the 
goodness of our Father, we have the prospect of 
meeting again. God has led you out of heathen 
islands, and brought you back in safety. His 
goodness never fails. This is a little speech to 
you two, in which all the brethren of Afareaitu 
unite. Inform us about the islands where you 
have left our two brethren, Hatai and Faaruea. 
May all our hearts be one in extending the 
knowledge of the good name of Jesus ! We re- 
joice that the deep has not swallowed you up, 
as it has done some others, and that you have 
not been ill-treated by people in the lands of 
darkness, as others have been. The power of 
God has preserved you. Let us be more diligent 
than ever, brethren, in endeavouring to dispel 
the darkness from heathen lands ; let them see 
the bright light. May the powerful hand of 
God soon pluck up every poisonous plant of 
heathenism, that our prayer may be speedily 
realised, ' Thy kingdom come ! ' 

" This is our little request : come and make 
known to us fully all the particulars of your 
journey, that our hearts may be made warm. 
We wish to see your faces ; but if you cannot 
come, write to us as much as you can. That is 
all we have to say. May great blessing attend 
you two, through Jesus Christ! 

"The Brethren at Afareaitu." 

Desirous of gratifying these friends, we went 
over to Aimeo, and spent a most delightful 
afternoon and evening with them. After Mr. 
Barff and myself had stated the interesting par- 
ticulars of our voyage, at a meeting convened 
for the purpose, Vara, the venerable chief of the 
station, arose and said, that although he was ge- 
nerally dumb, he was now compelled to speak, for 
his heart was warmed within him, and he 
Messrs. Williams and Barff. 



lamented exceedingly that he was not a young 
man, to go on such an errand of mercy. He 
thought he was never more delighted than dur- 
ing the time he was listening to our statements ; 
and then addressing himself to us and his be- 
loved Missionary, Mr. Orsmond, he added, 
" Do not despise these islands because their in- 
habitants are not so numerous as those of the 
Navigators and other groups, but take great 
care of these churches, and let them supply bre- 
thren to bear the news of salvation to more 
populous lands." This was almost the last 
meeting that Vara ever attended, for he was 
then suffering under the illness by which, soon 
after, he was called to his rest. This chief was 
a delightful instance of the power of the Gospel. 
In the time of their ignorance he was a procurer 
of human sacrifices, and on one occasion Po- 
mare sent to him an order to obtain one imme- 
diately. Yara was rather at a loss to satisfy this 
imperious demand ; and on going in search of 
a victim, his own little brother followed him at 
a distance, and cried after him. As soon as he 
saw him, he turned round, and struck his head 
with a stone, killed him, and, having put him 
into a large basket made of cocoa-nut leaves, 
sent him to Pomare. When his mother be- 
wailed the death of her child, and charged him 
with cruelty for killing his brother, he abused 
heY, and said, " Is not the favour of the gods, the 
pleasure of the king, and the security of our 
possessions, worth more than that little fool of 
a brother 1 Better lose him than the govern- 
ment of our district!" How affectingly correct 
is the scriptural representation of man in a 
heathen state, " without natural affection, im- 
placable, unmerciful !" Another office held by 
Yara was to rally dispirited warriors ; and many 
a night has he walked from house to house, to 
rouse the savage spirit of the people by assuring 
them, on the authority of a pretended commu- 
nication from some god, of their success in an 
approaching battle. But this implacable and un- 
merciful heathen became a humble and devoted 
Christian, and to the day of his death he adorned 
his profession. He received Christian baptism 
from the hands of our venerable and highly 
esteemed brother Missionary, Mr. Henry, but 
was for many years a member of the church 
under the care of Mr. Orsmond. Yara's eyes 
being bad, he could not learn to read ; but hav- 
ing been in the habit of treasuring in his me- 
mory passages of Scripture, he had obtained 
a correct and extensive knowledge of the great 
and essential doctrines of the Gospel. He was 
visited many times in his dying moments by 
Mr. Orsmond, whose account of his death I will 
here subjoin: 

" On seeing thai his end was fast approach- 
ing, I said to him, ' Are you sorry that you cast 
away your lying gods, by which you used to gain 
so much property V He was aroused from his 
lethargy, and, with tears of pleasure sparkling 
in his eyes, hf; exclaimed, ' Oh, no, no, no. 
What ! can I be sorry for casting away death 
for life'? Jesus is my rock, the fortification in 
which my soul takes shelter.' 

" I said, ' Tell me on what you found your 

hopes of future blessedness.' He replied, ' I 
have been very wicked, but a great King from 
the other side of the skies sent his ambassadors 
with terms of peace. We could not tell, for 
many years, what these ambassadors wanted. 
At ler.gth Pomare obtained a victory, and in- 
vited all his subjects to come and take refuge 
under the wing of Jesus, and I was one of the 
first to do so. The blood of Jesus is my founda- 
tion. I grieve that all my children do not love 
him. Had they known the misery we endured 
in the reign of the devil, they would gladly take 
the Gospel in exchange for their follies. Jesus 
is the best King ; he gives a pillow without 

" A little time after, I asked him if he was 
afraid to die, when, with almost youthful energy, 
he replied, ' No, no. The canoe is in the sea, 
the sails are spread, she is ready for the gale. 
I have a good Pilot to guide me, and a good 
haven to receive me. My outside man and my 
inside man differ. Let the one rot till the trump 
shall sound, but let my soul wing her way to the 
throne of Jesus.' Will he not through eternity 
sing hallelujahs to God and the Lamb, because 
of the South Sea Mission!" 

After having remained a sabbath with our 
beloved friends, Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, we 
sailed for Huahine, where Mrs. Williams and 
Mrs. Piatt were spending a few days with Mrs. 
Barff, anxiously waiting our arrival. It is su- 
perfluous to add, that this was a happy meeting. 
Safe and happy ourselves, our joy was complete 
when we found our wives and families in health, 
and our stations in prosperity. Thus terminated 
this important voyage, the blessed results of 
which will, I believe, be as valuable as the soul, 
and as enduring as eternity. 

On arriving at Raiatea, a scene not very dis- 
similar to that I have just described came under 
my immediate observation. In my own church 
was an old blind warrior, called Me. He had 
been the terror of all the inhabitants of Raiatea, 
and the neighbouring islands ; but in the last 
battle which was fought before Christianity was 
embraced, he received a blow which destroyed 
his sight. 

A few years after my settlement at Raiatea, 
Me was brought under the influence of the Gos- 
pel, and when our church was formed, he was 
among the first members admitted. His dili- 
gence in attending the house of God was re- 
markable, whither he was guided by some kind 
friend, who would take one end of his stick 
while he held the other. The most respectable 
females in the settlement thought this no dis- 
grace, and I have frequently seen principal 
chiefs, and the king himself, leading him in this 
way to chapel. Although blind, he attended 
our adult schools at six o'clock in the morning, 
and by repeating and carefully treasuring up 
what kind friends read to him, he obtained a 
great familiarity with the truths of the New 
Testament. And here I may observe, that the 
natives generally are exceedingly kind to blind 
and aged people, in reading to them portions of 
Scripture which they are desirous of retaining, 
and I do not know a more interesting scene than 



is presented at times in our adult schools. Here 
you will see a pious female, surrounded by three 
or four of her own sex, decrepit with age, to 
whom she is reading and explaining some im- 
portant passages in the word of God; there 
you may observe a principal chief or his wife 
engaged in the same way. In one place you 
would find a little boy, in another an interesting 
little girl, seated among old warriors, and either 
teaching them the alphabet, instructing them in 
spelling, or reading over some portions of Scrip- 
ture. On the first Sabbath after my return I 
missed old Me ; and not receiving the hearty 
grasp of congratulation from him to which I was 
accustomed, I inquired of the deacons where he 
was, when they informed me that he was ex- 
ceedingly ill, and not expected to recover. I 
determined, therefore, to visit him immediately. 
On reaching the place of his residence, I found 
him lying in a little hut, detached from the 
dwelling-house, and on entering it, I addressed 
him by saying, " Me, I am sorry to find you so 
ill." Recognising my voice, he exclaimed, " Is 
it you 1 ? Do I really hear your voice again be- 
fore I die 1 I shall die happy now, I was afraid 
I should have died before your return." My 
first inquiry related to the manner in which he 
was supplied with food ; for in their heathen 
state, as soon as old or infirm persons became a 
burden to their friends, they were put to death 
in a most barbarous manner. Under the pre- 
tence of carrying the victim of their cruelty to a 
stream of water to bathe, his relations would 
hurl him into a hole previously dug for the pur- 
pose, and then throw a heap of stones upon the 
body. Even for a considerable time after Chris- 
tianity was embraced, we found it necessary, 
when visiting the sick and afflicted, to make 
strict inquiry as to the attention they received. 
In reply to my question, Me stated that at times 
he suffered much from hunger. I said, " How 
sot You have your own plantations;" for, 
although blind, he was diligent in the cultiva- 
tion of sweet potatoes and bananas. " Yes," he 
said, " but as soon as I was taken ill, the people 
with whom I lived seized my ground, and I am at 
times exceedingly in want." I asked him why he 
had not complained to the chief, or to some of 
the Christian brethren who visited him ; and his 
affecting reply was, " I feared lest the people 
should call me a talebearer, and speak evil 
of my religion, and I thought I would rather 
suffer hunger or death than give them occa- 
sion to do so." I then inquired what bre- 
thren visited him in his affliction, to read and 
pray with him. Naming several, he added 
" they do not come so often as 1 could wish, 
yet I am not lonely, for I have frequent visits 
from God : God and I were talking when you 
came in." " Well," I said, " and what were 
you talking about % " " I was praying to depart 
and to be with Christ, which is far better," 
was his reply. Having intimated that I feared 
his sickness would terminate in death, I wished 
him to tell me what he thought of himself in 
the sight of God, and what was the foundation 
of his hope. " Oh ! " he replied, " I have been 
in great trouble this morning, but I am happy- 
No. 7. 

now. I saw an immense mountain, with pre- 
cipitous sides, up which I endeavoured to climb, 
but when I had attained a considerable height, I 
lost my hold and fell to the bottom. Exhausted 
with perplexity and fatigue, I went to a distance 
and sat down to weep, and while weeping, I 
saw a drop of blood fall upon that mountain, 
and in a moment it was dissolved." Wishing 
to obtain his own ideas of what had been pre- 
sented to his imagination, I said, " this was 
certainly a strange sight ; what construction do 
you put upon it '( " After expressing his sur- 
prise that I should be at a loss for the inter- 
pretation, he exclaimed, " That mountain was 
my sins, and the drop which fell upon it was one 
drop of the precious blood of Jesus, by which 
the mountain of my guilt must be melted away." 
I expressed my satisfaction at finding he had such 
an idea of the magnitude of his guilt, and such 
exalted views of the efficacy of the Saviour's 
blood, and that although the eyes of his body 
were blind, he could with the " eye of his heart" 
see such a glorious sight. He then went on to 
state, that the various sermons he had heard 
were now his companions in solitude, and the 
source of his comfort in affliction. On saying, 
at the close of the interview, that I would go 
home and prepare some medicine for him, which 
might afford him ease, he replied, " I will drink 
it, because you say I must, but I shall not pray 
to be restored to health again, for my desire is 
to depart and be with Christ, which is far better 
than to remain longer in this sinful world." 
In my subsequent visits, I always found him 
happy and cheerful, longing to depart and 
be with Christ. This was constantly the 
burden of his prayer. I was with him when 
he breathed his last. During this interview, he 
quoted many precious passages of Scripture ; 
and having exclaimed with energy, " Oh death, 
where is thy sting 1" his voice faltered, his eyes 
became fixed, his hands dropped, and his 
spirit departed to be with that Saviour, one drop 
of whose blood had melted away the mountain 
of his guilt. Thus died poor old Me, the blind 
warrior of Raiatea. I retired from the over- 
whelming and interesting scene, praying as I 
went that my end might be like his. 


Distress at Eaiatea Tamatoa His Character and Death 
Sail again for Rarotonga New Chapel Beautiful 
Appearance of the Settlement Makea's Generosity 
Ancient Usages revived The effect? of a Discourse 
A Hurricane Mrs. Buzacott's Distress Mrs. Williams's 
narrow Escape A Thousand Houses destroyed. The 
Island devastated. 

The following year, 1831, spent at my own 
station, was one of distress and anxiety ; but as 
the details would fill a volume, I must content 
myself with a bare notice of the leading events 
of that period. Fenuapeho, the chief of the 
neighbouring island, having been lost at sea, 
the government devolved upon Tapoa, the 
grandson of a terrible warrior of that name, an 
inveterate enemy of Christianity; the circum- 
stances of whose death, which occurred at a 




critical period, I have previously * narrated. 
On his attaining the sovereignty, the exiles 
from all the islands, together with the disaffected, 
and a few restless-spirited old warriors, rallied 
round this young chieftain, intoxicated him 
with ideas of his greatness, and represented to 
him that, by a desperate effort, he might de- 
pose the reigning family, make himself chief of 
all the Leeward Islands, and be as renowned as 
his grandfather. Every effort was made that 
kindness could suggest, or ingenuity devise, to 
induce him and his followers to desist from 
their obstinate and ruinous course, but in vain ; 
and a collision between the parties appeared 
inevitable. The anxiety and agitation occasioned 
by these distressing circumstances, so preyed 
xipon the mind of our chief, Tamatoa, who was 
already enfeebled by age, that they accelerated 
his death. 

There were some circumstances in the life of 
this celebrated chieftain which, although a di- 
gression, may be introduced here with pro- 
priety. He was the patriarch of royalty in the 
Society Islands, his eldest daughter having the 
government of Huahine, and his grand-daughter 
being the present queen of Tahiti. He was 
a remarkably fine man, being six feet eleven 
inches in height. Respecting his Christian 
consistency, different opinions have been ex- 
pressed ; but, for my own part, I confidently 
hope that he was a subject of Divine grace. I 
will, however, relate a few particulars of his 
history, and leave the reader to draw his own 
conclusion. In his heathen state he was wor- 
shipped as a god, and to him the eye of the 
human victim was presented before the body 
was carried to the marae. When visited by the 
Deputation, Mr. Bennet requested me to ask 
him, which, of all the crimes, he had committed, 
lay heaviest upon his mind ; and, after some 
hesitation, he replied " That of allowing 
myself to be worshipped as a god, when I knew 
that I was but a man." Before he wa brought 
under the influence of the Gospel, he was much 
addicted to the use of the intoxicating juice of 
the kava root, which appears to produce a nar- 
coctic effect so peculiar, that the slightest noise 
is exceedingly distracting to persons under its 
influence. Immediately it was known that the 
king had been drinking, the women ceased to 
beat their cloth, and all sounds in the immediate 
vicinity were to be hushed. Children also were 
carefully removed from the premises, lest he 
should be annoyed in the slumbering fit which 
had been induced by the stupifying draught. 
It appears that he was exceedingly desperate 
while in a state of intoxication, and that on the 
slightest disturbance he would seize a club, 
spear, or any other weapon, rush out of the 
house, and wreak his vengeance on friend or 
foe, man, woman, or child, whom he might 
happen to meet. In this way several persons 
have fallen victims to his ferocity. On such 
occasions his look and manner must indeed 
have been terrible. The flashing fury of his 
eye, the aurl of his thick lip, the lowering aspect 

Page 61 

of his brow, together with the growling tone of 
his voice, and the violent gestures of his Her- 
culean frame, were calculated to strike the 
stoutest heart with terror. Once, when thu!> 
aroused, he rushed out of his dwelling, and not 
being able to find a weapon, he struck an un- 
offending person such a violent blow with his 
fist, that he knocked his eye out, and mutilated 
his own hand so much, that he lost, in conse- 
quence, the first and second bones of his fore- 
finger. After ardent spirits were introduced by- 
vessels from England and America, he became 
exceedingly addicted to this new method of 
intoxication, and when under their influence, 
was equally violent and terrible. Thus he con- 
tinued till he embraced the Gospel ; but then 
he made a solemn vow to Jehovah that he 
would never again, to the day of his death, 
taste either the one or the other. I knew him 
intimately for fifteen years, and I am convinced 
that he kept his vow most sacredly. The effect 
of his example upon the people was exceedingly 
beneficial ; for while the stations of my brethren 
were suffering severely from this poison of the 
soul as well as the body, we were entirely free 
from it, and during the above-mentioned period 
of fifteen years, I saw but one or two persons 
in a state of intoxication. Tamatoa was con- 
stant in his attendance at our adult school ; and, 
at six o'clock in the morning, he always took 
his seat on my right hand, read his verse in ro- 
tation with others of the class, and evinced 
great pleasure when his answers to my ques- 
tions upon it afforded me satisfaction. At the 
catechetical exercises, the prayer-meetings, and 
the more public ordinances of God's house, his 
seat was always occupied. He certainly de- 
lighted in receiving Christian instruction', and 
invariably encouraged whatever was calculated 
to promote the civil and religious improvement 
of his people. 

I visited him frequently in his last illness, and 
found his views of the way of salvation clear and 
distinct, and his spirit resting on Christ alone. 
Just before he expired, he exhorted his son, who 
was to succeed him, his daughter, and the chiefs 
assembled on the mournful occasion, to be firm 
in their attachment to the Gospel, to maintain 
the Laws, and to be kind to their Missionary. 
Extending his withered arms to me, he ex- 
claimed, " My dear friend, how long we have 
laboured together in this good cause ; nothing 
has ever separated us : now death is doing what 
nothing else has done ; but ' who shall separate 
us from the love of Christ % ' " 

Thus died Tamatoa, once the terror of his 
subjects, the murderer of his people, a despotic 
tyrant, and a most bigoted idolater ! 

"With such facts as these before us, illustrating 
the moral power and the transforming influence 
of the Gospel, what reflecting or benevolent 
individual can be indifferent to its propagation ] 
The death of Tamatoa, instead of producing 
a favourable impression upon the minds of the 
opposite party, strengthened his determination 
to persist in their unreasonable demands, and 
for months I was racked with anxiety to ascer- 
tain the path of duty. I wished much to have 




remained at Raiatea, until these differences had 
been adjusted, but other circumstances rendered 
this impossible. My brethren, Pitman and Buza- 
cott, had agreed to translate the New Testament, 
with me, into the Rarotonga dialect, and as 
each had accomplished his portion, it was ne- 
cessary that we should spend a few months 
together in revising and perfecting the whole, 
prior to my embarkation for England. The 
time also for visiting the out-stations, especially 
the Navigators' Islands, had arrived, and as the 
period of Mrs. "Williams's confinement was ap- 
proaching, and she had lost so many children at 
Raiatea, she hoped, by a change of place and 
scene, to be spared the distress of consigning a 
seventh sweet babe to a premature grave. The 
vessel also required considerable repairs, and 
as the stores sent by the kind friends in England 
had arrived, I was supplied with every article 
to complete her outfit. 

For these reasons, on the 21st of September, 
1831, we again sailed for Rarotonga. We 
reached it in safety, after a pleasant voyage of 
six or seven days, and found the Mission families 
in good health, but much in want of the sup- 
plies we were conveying to them. 

The improvements effected, by the people's 
diligence, since our former visit, were so many 
and interesting, that the settlement at Avarua 
surpassed in order and neatness any other of 
our Missionary stations. A new chapel had 
been erected, of considerable elevation, and su- 
perior construction, having at each end porti- 
coes, which were approached by nights of steps 
of hewn coral. The school house, which was 
about a hundred feet in length, stood by its 
side, and both it and the chapel were encircled 
by a neat stone wall. In front, and at equal 
distances, some toa, or casuarina trees, reared 
their stately heads, through the graceful foliage 
of which the snow-white buildings presented 
themselves, and at the back were two houses 
larger than the generality of those which com- 
pose the settlement, surrounded also with stone 
walls, and having spacious gardens in front. 
These were the dwellings of the chief and Mis- 
sionary. The pathways through the gardens to 
the houses were strewed with white coral and 
black pebbles, and you were shaded from the 
piercing rays of the sun by the ti-trees and 
bananas which were planted on either side. 
Stretching away to the right and left for at least 
a mile in each direction, we saw the neat white 
cottages of the natives, built on the same plan 
as those of the chief and Missionary, but on a 
smaller scale. A wide pathway ran through 
the middle of the settlement, on either side of 
which stood the native dwellings ; these, with 
their windows and doors neatly painted, and 
with front gardens tastily laid out, and well 
stocked with flowers and shrubs, gave to the 
whole scene an air of comfort and respectability. 

Having to address the people, I took for my 
text, Psalm cxxvi. 3, " The Lord hath done 
great things for us, whereof we are glad." The 
congregation was very large, and Papeiha, Tino- 
mana, and many of the people of their station, 
had come to welcome vis. We were gratified 

at perceiving that the interior of the chapel 
corresponded with its exterior, and was fitted 
up more in the English style than any hitherto 
erected. It had galleries all round, supported 
by pillars very neatly turned. It was also pewed 
throughout, and the pulpit was richly orna- 
mented. It was capable of accommodating two 
thousand people, and though, on close inspec- 
tion, the workmanship appeared rather rough, 
it did credit to the ingenuity of Mr. Buzacott, 
who designed the plan and superintended the 
erection, as well as to the diligence of the people 
by whom it was built. 

Makea was exceedingly liberal, for he had 
between two and three hundred pigs baked to 
entertain his friends and the people at the open- 
ing, besides those which he had given to the 
workmen during its erection. 

After consulting with my brethren, I deter- 
mined, in company with Mr. Buzacott and 
Makea, to visit the neighbouring islands, before 
we commenced either the revision of the trans- 
lations or the repairs of the vessel. Having 
performed this voyage, the particulars of which 
will be found in the accounts already given of 
the islands of Aitutaki, Mangaia, Atiu, and 
Mauke, we prepared to haul the vessel on shore, 
and commence the intended repairs and altera- 
tions, which were, to lengthen her six feet, and 
give her a new stern ; and after having examined 
the harbours, we selected Makea's station for 
the purpose. As we attended assiduously to 
this work on one part of the day, and to the 
translations during the remainder, we proceeded 
rapidly and successfully for the first fortnight, 
when new troubles arose. At a meeting of the 
chiefs and people, whether convened by accident 
or design we could not ascertain, a proposition 
was made and carried to revive several of their 
heathen customs, and immediately after, the 
barbarous practice of tatooing commenced in all 
directions, and numbers were seen parading the 
settlement, decorated in the heathen trappings 
which they had abandoned for several years. 
The effects of these unwise and unholy measures 
were felt in the schools, from which many of 
the promising young people of both sexes were 
unhappily drawn aside. At Mr. Pitman's sta- 
tion, two young chiefs, who had been particu- 
larly useful, and of whom he entertained pleas- 
ing hopes, publicly declared their determination 
to adopt the former customs, and in order to 
induce others to join them they used some in- 
solent expressions to their Missionary. Many 
devoted young persons immediately stood up in 
Mr. Pitman's defence, and declared that they 
would remain steadfast in their attachment to 
him, and continue to receive his instructions. 
Upon these the two young chiefs and their party 
poured a torrent of the bitterest sarcasm, and 
thus attempted to shame them out of their de- 
cision. These transactions were entirely new 
at Rarotonga, and caused, for a time, much 
perplexity and pain. The Missionaries, however, 
thought it wise to allow the people to take their 
own course, concluding that these young chiefs 
must have powerful supporters, or they would 
not have had the temerity to act as they did. 




Intending to spend the Sabbath with Mr. 
Pitman, Mrs. Williams and myself went to 
Ngatangiia, on the Friday, when our friends 
gave us a full account of their difficulties. I was 
truly thankful that I was there at the time, to 
sympathise with my brethren and assist them in 
their troubles. 

On the Sabbath morning, I took for my text 
the 30th and 31st verses of the 17th chapter of 
the Acts of the Apostles, and adapting my dis- 
course to existing circumstances, preached one 
of the most spirit-stirring discourses I could 
compose, in which I endeavoured to convince 
the people that their practices were attended 
with peculiar aggravations, and that God would 
not now, as in the days of their ignorance, wink 
at such wickedness. A very powerful impres- 
sion was produced, and early the following 
morning a meeting was convened, which Mr. 
Pitman and myself were invited to attend ; when 
both Pa and Kainuku declared that the revival 
of the evil practices did not originate with them. 
The former expressed his abhorrence of the evil, 
his unabated attachment both to his Missionary 
and to Christianity, and his grief on account of the 
manner in which his son had acted towards Mr. 
Pitman. Tupe, the judge, spoke next, and gave 
a most interesting account of himself, from the 
time at which he became a Christian. He 
stated, that he was one of the last to receive the 
Gospel, and had held out against it longer than 
any other chief on the island, but that from the 
moment he became convinced of its truth, he 
embraced it, and had determined to understand 
its principles, and, as far as possible, act up to 
its precepts. He further observed, that at an 
early period after his conversion, he was in- 
vested with an office by the native Missionaries, 
and since the establishment of law he had been 
selected by his brother chiefs as principal judge ; 
but that having endeavoured, in the discharge 
of his public duties, fearless of consequences, 
to act conscientiously and impartially, he had 
been maligned and suspected, had suffered the 
destruction of his property, and twice had his 
house burnt down. He concluded his powerful 
and pathetic address by saying, that while he 
held the office of judge, nothing should deter 
him from an impartial discharge of its duties. 

As Mr. Pitman did not like to interfere, I 
addressed the meeting ; after which we left 
them to adopt their own measures. They then 
passed a unanimous resolution, to send a message 
to request Makea to prohibit the heathen cus- 
toms. A few days after this the chief's son came, 
and expressed to Mr. Pitman his deep sorrow 
at having been so led away ; and his companion 
in delinquency addressed to him a sensible and 
penitential letter to the same effect. Thus, at 
Ngatangiia, the torrent which threatened to in- 
undate the island with wickedness was stemmed. 
At Arorangi, the pious and excellent chief, 
Tinomana, would not listen for a moment to 
the proposal to resuscitate any relic of heathen- 
ism, and by his decided opposition he put a 
stop at once to all further disturbance and per- 
plexity. Makea and his party, however, did 
not agree to the request of Pa and his brother 

chiefs, and the evil-disposed persons at his station 
were allowed to follow their own inclinations. 

About a fortnight after this, God was pleased 
to teach them terrible things in righteousness, 
by visiting their garden island with a most fu- 
rious and devastating hurricane ; the effects of 
which were long felt, and the remembrance of 
it will be transmitted to posterity. 

"We were spending a few days with Mr. Pit- 
man, revising our translations, when, early on 
Saturday morning, 21st December, I received a 
note from Mr. Buzacott, informing me that a 
very heavy sea was rolling into the harbour, and 
that although there was no immediate danger, 
yet, if it increased, of which there was every 
probability, the vessel must sustain injury. I 
set off immediately for Avarua, and on my ar- 
rival was alarmed and distressed at the threat- 
ening appearance of the atmosphere and the 
agitated state of the ocean. I instantly em- 
ployed a number of natives to carry stones, and 
raise a kind of breakwater around the vessel. 
One end of the chain-cable was then fastened 
to the ship, and the other attached to the main- 
i post of our large school-house, which stood 
upon a bank ten feet high, about forty or fifty 
yards from the sea ; and, having removed all 
the timber and ship's stores to what we sup- 
posed a place of safety, and taken every precau- 
tion to secure my ship and property from the de- 
structive effects of the coming tempest, I returned 
to Ngatangiia, fatigued and distressed. As I 
was leaving Avarua, I turned round to take, as 
I feared, a last look at the little vessel, when I 
saw a heavy sea roll in and lift her several feet ; 
she, however, fell very gently to her place again. 
The next day was the Sabbath, and it was one 
of gloom and distress. The wind blew most 
furiously, and the rain descended in torrents 
from morning until night. We held, however, 
our religious services as usual. Towards evening 
the storm increased ; trees were rent, and houses 
began to fall. Among the latter was a large 
shed, formerly used as a temporary school- 
house, which buried my best boat in its ruins. 
We had waited with great anxiety during the 
day to hear from Mr. Buzacott, and, as no in- 
formation had arrived, we entertained a hope 
that the sea had subsided. But, instead of this, 
about nine o'clock, a note came to apprise me 
that it had risen to a most alarming height, that 
the vessel had been thumping on the stones the 
whole of the day, and that, at six o'clock, the 
roof that covered her was blown down and 
washed away. To complete the evil tidings, 
the messenger told us that the sea had gone 
over the bank and reached the school-house, 
which contained the rigging, copper, and stores 
of our vessel, and that, if it continued to increase, 
the whole settlement would be endangered. 

As the distance was eight miles, the night 
terrifically dark and dismal, and the rain pour- 
ing down like a deluge, I determined to wait 
till the morning. We spent a sleepless night, 
during which the howling of the tempest, the 
hollow roar of the billows as they burst upon 
the reef, the shouting of the natives, the falling 
of the houses, together with the writhing and 



creaking of our own dwelling under the violence 
of the storm, were sufficient not merely to 
deprive us of sleep, but to strike terror into the 
stoutest heart. 

Before daylight on the Monday morning I set 
off for Avarua, and, in order to avoid walking 
knee deep in water nearly all the way, and to 
escape the falling limbs of trees, which were 
being torn with violence from their trunks, I 
attempted to take the seaside path ; but the 
wind and rain were so furious that I found it 
impossible to make any progress. I was there- 
fore obliged to take the inland road, and, by 
watching my opportunity, and running between 
the falling trees, I escaped without injury. 
When about half way I was met by some of my 
own workmen, who were coming to inform me 
of the fearful devastation going on at the settle- 
ment. " The sea," they said, " had risen to a 
great height, and had swept away the store- 
house and all its contents ; the vessel was driven 
in against the bank, upon which she was lifted 
with every wave, and fell off again when it 
receded!" After a trying walk, thoroughly 
drenched, cold, and exhausted, I reached the 
settlement, which presented a scene of fearful 
desolation, the very sight of which filled me 
with dismay. I supposed, indeed, that much 
damage had been done, but I little expected to 
behold the beautiful settlement, with its luxu- 
riant groves, its broad pathways, and neat white 
cottages, one mass of ruins, among which scarcely 
a house or tree was standing. The poor women 
were running about with their children, wildly 
looking for a place of safety ; and the men were 
dragging their little property from beneath the 
ruins of their prostrate houses. The screams of 
the former and the shouts of the latter, together 
with the roaring sea, the pelting rain, the howl- 
ing wind, the falling trees, and the infuriated 
appearance of the atmosphere, presented a spec- 
tacle the most sublime and terrible, which made 
us stand, and tremble, and adore. On reaching 
the chapel I was rejoiced to see it standing ; but, 
as we were passing, a resistless gust burst in 
the east end, and proved the premonitory signal 
of its destruction. The new school-house was 
lying in ruins by its side. Mr. Buzacott's ex- 
cellent dwelling, which stood upon a stone 
foundation, was rent and unroofed, the inmates 
had fled, and the few natives who could attend 
were busily employed in removing the goods to 
a place of safety. Shortly after my arrival, a 
heavy sea burst in with devastating vengeance, 
and tore away the foundation of the chapel, 
which fell with a frightful crash. The same 
mighty wave rolled on in its destructive course 
till it dashed against Mr. Buzacott's house, 
already mutilated with the storm, and laid it 
prostrate with the ground. The chiefs wife 
came and conducted Mrs. Buzacott to her habi- 
tation, which was then standing; but shortly 
after they had reached it, the sea began to dash 
against it, and the wind tore off the roof, so 
that our poor fugitive sister and her three little 
children were obliged to take refuge in the 
mountains. Accompanied by two or three 
faithful females, among whom was the chiefs 

wife, they waded nearly a mile through water, 
which in some places was several feet deep. On 
reaching the side of the hill, where they ex- 
pected a temporary shelter, they had the severe 
mortification of finding that a huge tree had 
fallen upon and crushed it. Again they pur- 
sued their watery way in search of a covert from 
the storm, and at length reached a hut, which 
was crowded with women and children who had 
taken refuge in it. They were, however, gladly 
welcomed, and every possible assistance was ren- 
dered to alleviate their distress.* Mr. Buzacott 
and myself had retired to a small house belong- 
ing to his servants, which we had endeavoured 
to secure with ropes, and into which all our 
books and property had been conveyed. One 
wave, however, dashed against it ; we therefore 
sent off a box or two of books and clothes to 
the mountains, and waited with trembling 
anxiety to know what would become of us. 
The rain was still descending in deluging tor- 
rents ; the angry lightning was darting its fiery 
streams among the dense black clouds which 
shrouded us in their gloom ; the thunder, deep 
and loud, rolled and pealed through the hea- 
vens ; and the whole island trembled to its very 
centre as the infuriated billows burst upon its 
shores. The crisis had arrived ; this was the 
hour of our greatest anxiety ; but " man's 
extremity is God's opportunity;" and never 
was the sentiment expressed in this beautiful 
sentence more signally illustrated than at this 
moment ; for the wind shifted suddenly a few 
points to the west, which was a signal to the 
sea to cease its ravages and retire within its 
wonted limits; the storm was hushed; the 
lowering clouds began to disperse, and the sun, 
as a prisoner, bursting forth from his dark dun- 
geon, smiled upon us from above, and told us that 
" God had not forgotten to be gracious." We 
now ventured to creep out of our hiding-places, 
and were appalled at beholding the fearful de- 
solation that was spread around us. As soon 
as possible, I sent a messenger to obtain some 
information respecting my poor vessel, expecting 
that she had been shivered into a thousand 
pieces ; but, to our astonishment, he returned 
with the intelligence that, although the bank, 
the school-house, and the vessel were all washed 
away together, the latter had been carried over 
a swamp, and lodged amongst a grove of large 
chestnut-trees several hundred yards inland, 
and yet appeared to have sustained no injury 
whatever ! As soon as practicable, I went myself, 
and was truly gratified at finding that the report 
was correct, and that the trees had stopped her 
wild progress, otherwise she would have been 
driven several hundred yards farther, and have 
sunk in a bog. 

I was now most anxious to return to Ngatan- 
giia, being greatly concerned and distressed for 
Mrs. Williams ; tor, in the height of the storm, 
I had despatched a messenger, to request Mr. 

* As soon as Mr. Buzacott heard that Mrs. Buzacott 
and the children had been cprapelled to leave the chiefs 
house, he went in search of them, and, after experiencing 
considerable anxiety on their account, was truly grate- 
ful to find them safely housed. 



Pitman to send us help ; but he returned Avith 
the dismal tidings that the ravages of the tem- 
pest were as devastating there as at Avarua. 
I therefore hastened back, and when about half 
way was met by a native, with a letter from 
Mrs. Williams, begging me to return imme- 
diately, as she was apprehensive of serious con- 
sequences, from the fright she had sustained. 
On arriving at Ngatangiia the scene of desola- 
tion was almost as terrific as that at Avarua. 
Mr. Pitman's house, although standing, was 
unroofed, and severely shattered ; and Mrs. 
Williams, with Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, had taken 
refuge in a small new cottage belonging to Pa, 
the principal chief, which was now almost the 
only tenantable dwelling in the whole settle- 
ment. I was truly thankful to find that Mrs. 
Williams's fears were not likely to be realized ; 
and we fondly entertained a hope that our 
babe would yet be spared to us. It appeared 
that she had had the narrowest possible escape 
from a horrible death ; for shortly after I left, 
Mrs. Pitman, who was sleeping in the next 
room, perceiving the roof of the house writhe 
under the pressure of the tempest, urged Mrs. 
Williams to get up immediately ; and she had 
no sooner risen from the bed than a violent 
gust of wind burst in the end of the dwelling, 
which fell with a crash upon the very spot on 
which she was lying two minutes before. Wrap- 
ping themselves in blankets, they rushed out of 
the falling house, and stood in an open space, 
while natives were sent to seek for a hut or 
cottage, where they might find a temporary 
shelter. One of them shortly returned, saying 
that there was a small house standing, belong- 
ing to one of Mr. Pitman's servants. To this 
they instantly repaired ; but before they reached 
it, a cocoa-nut tree had fallen upon it, and se- 
vered it in two. They were again obliged to 
seek safety, by exposing themselves to the fury 
of the raging elements, rather than approach 
houses or trees. At length a messenger came, 
running to inform them that Pa's house was 
standing, and the way to it tolerably free. On 
their arrival the chief showed them every atten- 
tion, and had his house made as secure as pos- 
sible with ropes ; but here, also, they were 
kept in great terror by a stately cocoa-nut tree, 
which was bowing and bending over their heads. 
They succeeded, however, in getting a bold and 
active young man to climb up and cut off the 
branches, whom they rewarded for his temerity. 
In the evening we had time to collect our 
thoughts, and reflect upon our situation. The 
chapels, school -houses, Mission- houses, and 
nearly all the dwellings of the natives, were 
levelled to the ground.* Our property was 
scattered by the winds and waves, among a 
people who were formerly the most pilfering 
of any with whom Ave were acquainted, and 
many of whom still retained this propensity. 
Every particle of food in the island was destroyed. 
Scarcely a banana plaintain tree was left, either 
on the plains, in the valleys, or upon the moun- 
tains ; hundreds of thousands of which, on the 

* I should think very few short of a thousand houses 
were destroyed in this terrific hurricane. 

preceding day, covered and adorned the land 
with their foliage and fruit. Thousands of 
stately bread-fruit, together with immense chest- 
nut and other huge trees, that had withstood 
the storms of ages, were laid prostrate on the 
ground, and thrown upon each other in the 
wildest confusion. Of those that were standing 
many were branchless, and all leafless. So 
great and so general was the destruction that 
no spot escaped ; for the gale veered gradually 
round the island, and performed most effectually 
its devastating commission. But in this, as in 
all God's afflictive dispensations, mercy was 
mingled with judgment; for had the gale been 
at its height during the night, or had it lasted 
much longer, the consequences would have 
been greatly aggravated. 

At the close of this memorable day, the 23rd 
of December, 1831, we united at the footstool of 
Divine mercy, to express our gratitude to God 
for having preserved us amidst such imminent 
peril, and for having stilled the raging of the 
storm. We then spread our mats upon the 
ground, which was covered with a thick layer of 
dried grass ; and stretching our weary limbs, we 
enjoyed a few hours of sound and refreshing 
sleep, after the excitement and exhaustion of 
this distressing day. Of Mr. Pitman's kind 
concern for Mrs. Williams we still entertain the 
most grateful remembrance ; for although ex- 
ceedingly weak and nervous himself, he used 
his utmost exertions to save her from suffering 
either in body or mind. 

Early the following day Ave commenced re- 
pairing Mr. Pitman's house, which we strength- 
ened with tie-beams and braces ; and as soon as 
it Avas habitable, Mr. Pitman sent to Avarua, 
to offer our houseless brother and family an 
asylum, Avhich they gladly accepted. 


The Messenger of Peace on Shore The Effect of the 
Hurricane upon the Minds of the People The Iteathof 
our seventh Babe More Disasters A great Feast 
Singular Ceremony in apportioning the Food Five 
Calamities Value of Ironmongery The Messenger 
of Peace Repaired and Launched Voyage to Tahiti, 
&c. Evils of Ardent Spirits The Destruction of the 
Stills Establishment of Temperance Societies Re- 
turn to Karotonga Introduction of Horses, Cattle, &c. 

Anxious to knoAV something satisfactory about 
my poor ship, on the Eriday folloAving I Avent to 
Avarua, and was both astonished and rejoiced 
at finding that she had sustained no injury 
Avhatever. She had however Avorked herself 
into a hole about four feet deep, and Avhen lifted 
by the sea, had broken off large branches from 
the trees, tAvelve and fifteen feet high. The 
whole of her stores, mast, rigging, blocks, pitch, 
and copper, Avere strewed over the low land. 
Some of these Avere buried under the ruins of 
the houses, and others beneath a mass of fallen 
trees. I much feared Avhether I should be able 
to recover enough to relit the vessel again ; but 
by great perseverance, in digging away the sand, 
in repeatedly traversing the settlement, in turn- 
ing over the rubbish throAvn up by the sea, and 
the ruins of the houses, Ave succeeded beyond our 



most sanguine expectations. My most serious 
loss was seventy sheets of copper ; for one of the 
boxes was rent to pieces by the violence of the 
waves ; and of the hundred sheets which it con- 
tained, only thirty were ever recoverod, some of 
which were crumpled and battered in the most 
singular manner. 

As soon as the consternation produced by the 
hurricane had subsided, a large meeting was 
convened, when it was agreed to commence 
immediately a temporary house of worship, to 
build a dwelling for Mr. Buzacott, and to repair 
that of the chief. At this meeting the great 
body of the people charged the chiefs with 
having brought this distress upon them ; regard- 
ing it as a judgment from God, for having revived 
the evil customs which they had for years aban- 
doned. As this feeling was general, a resolution 
was unanimously passed, that all the late inno- 
vations should be suppressed, and that the 
observance of the laws should be strictly en- 
forced. One of the chiefs, a good-meaning but 
ignorant man, proposed that he and his brother 
chiefs should all be tried, and sentenced to some 
punishment, as an atonement for the sins of 
the people. 

The effect of this severe dispensation upon 
the minds of the natives was various. Some 
took disgust, left the settlement, and went to 
live at their respective districts, saying, that 
since the introduction of Christianity, they had 
been visited with a greater number of more 
direful calamities than when they were heathens. 
They enumerated five distinct distresses that 
had come upon them since they had renounced 
idolatry. The first of these was the severe 
sickness that raged shortly after the arrival of 
Mr. Pitman and myself, in 1827. The second 
was the dreadful malady, which carried off so 
many hundreds, in 1830. Then the highest 
mountain was set on fire in a thunder-storm, 
and it burnt so furiously for nearly a fortnight, 
that the affrighted people thought the day of 
judgment was at hand: this was the third. 
The fourth was of an extraordinary prevalence 
of caterpillars, and of an insect of the mantis 
family : the former devoured their taro, and the 
latter destroyed their cocoa-nut trees. And 
now the crowning catastrophe was the relent- 
less hurricane, which had swept over and devas- 
tated their island, and thus completed their 
misery. Many, however, looked upon all these 
visitations as judgments, and were subdued and 
humbled under them. An address, delivered at 
the meeting of which I have spoken, by a truly 
excellent old man, will afford an illustration of 
this. As a foundation for his remarks, he se- 
lected that passage in the Gospel of Luke, 
Whose fan in his hand," &c, and referring to 
the five calamities, as means employed by Jesus 
Christ for the spiritual benefit of a sinful and 
obstinate people, he said, " Had we been im- 
proved by the first judgment, we might have 
escaped the second. Had we been properly 
impressed by the second, we might have escaped 
the third, and should have been spared the 
fourth. But as all the preceding judgments had 
failed, in the accomplishment of the desired ob- 

ject, we are now visited by a much more signal 
display of Divine power. Still his fan is in his 
hand, and he has not exhausted the means he 
possesses of cleansing his floor. Let us then 
humble ourselves, under this display of his 
power, and not provoke him still more by our 
obstinacy." He then proceeded to notice the 
manner in which the Lord had mingled mercy 
with his judgments. " True," said the good old 
chieftain, " our food is all destroyed, but our lives 
are spared ; our houses are all blown down, but 
our wives and children have escaped ; our large 
new chapel is a heap of ruins, and for this 1 
grieve most of all, yet we have a God to worship ; 
out school-house is washed away, yet our 
teachers are spared to us ; and holding up a 
portion of the New Testament, he continued, 
" we have still this precious book to instruct 
us." This address produced a most salutary 
effect upon the people. A great stimulus was 
also given to their exertions by a circumstance 
that will afford interest to my kind and valued 
friends at Birmingham. The poor afflicted 
people, having to rebuild chapels and school- 
houses in all the stations, together with dwelling- 
houses for their chiefs, their Missionaries, and 
themselves, and having scarcely any tools to 
work with, I determined to appropriate a small 
portion of the cask of ironmongery, sent by 
my Birmingham friends, for the purpose of 
assisting and encouraging them in their dis- 
tressing circumstances. I therefore not only 
supplied my esteemed brethren and Makea with 
a few axes, to lend as a general stock, but also 
made a present of an axe, a hatchet, or a saw to 
most of the chiefs of importance. This trans- 
fused into them such energy, that in a very few 
weeks the fallen trees and rubbish were cleared 
away, and comfortable temporary houses erected 
in all the settlements. I mention this to show 
our friends the great value of the articles they 
have from time to time transmitted to us. 
What I gave away would not, I suppose, cost in 
Birmingham more than five or six pounds ; but 
its value, in our circumstances, was inestimable. 
As my brethren, Buzacott and Pitman, were 
both at Ngatangiia, I determined to spend the 
Sabbath at Arorangi. In this journey I per- 
ceived, in all parts of the island, immense trees 
of eveiy kind strewed upon the ground in wild 
confusion, like the bodies of prostrate warriors 
after some terrific and murderous battle. The 
enchanting little settlement at Arorangi was 
also a heap of ruins. The school-house, how- 
ever, had not been completely destroyed, and 
this the natives contrived to repair by the Sab- 
bath ; so that we had a comfortable house in 
which to worship. I endeavoured to improve 
the awful catastrophe, by speaking from that 
beautiful passage in the 32nd chapter of Isaiah, 
2nd verse : " And a man shall be as an hiding 
place from the wind, and a covert from the tem- 
pest," &c. &c. 

How true are the poet's words 

" Woes cluster ; rare are solitary woes." 

On the following Saturday we were called to 
mourn over the loss of our seventh dear babe. 



The shock sustained by Mrs. Williams on the 
day of the hurricane had occasioned its death 
before it was bora ; and the season of her mater- 
nal sufferings was tedious, distressing, and 
dangerous. God, however, in judgment re- 
membered mercy. Although prior to the birth 
of the babe, and for some time after, the life of 
the mother appeared nearly extinct, in the 
course of a few hours she revived a little, and 
we were cheered by the prospect of her sur- 
viving. We had entertained fond hopes that 
this dear babe would have been spared to us, 
but in this we were again disappointed ; and, 
while we endeavoured to bow with submission 
to the will of an all-wise and gracious Father, 
we found it difficult to restrain the tear of 
parental affection ; and even now, when we 
speak of our seven dear infants, whose little 
bodies are slumbering in different isles of the 
far distant seas, our tenderest emotions are en- 
kindled, but our murmurings are hushed into 
silence by the sweet conviction that they are 
gone before us to heaven. Just before the lid of 
the little coffin was fastened down, all assembled 
to take a last look, when our feelings were much 
excited by an expression of our then youngest 
child, who at that time was about five years of 
age. Thinking in the native language, and 
speaking in English, after looking intensely at 
the beauteous form of the lifeless babe, he burst 
into tears, and in accents of sweet simplicity, 
cried out, " Father, mother, why do you plant 
my little brother 1 ? don't plant him, I cannot bear 
to have him planted." Our kind and beloved 
friends mingled their tenderest sympathies in 
our affliction, and did everything that the sin- 
cerest affection could suggest to alleviate our 

I wrote a letter to inform Makea of the cir- 
cumstance, when he immediately collected all 
the people of his settlement, and accompanied 
them to Ngatangiia, to condole with us in our 
affliction. No individual came empty-handed ; 
some brought mats, others pieces of cloth, and 
others articles of food, which they presented as 
an expression of their sympathy. A few of the 
principal women went in to see Mrs. Williams, 
laid their little presents at her feet, and wept 
over her, according to their custom. The affec- 
tion of this kind people remains unabated. In 
a recent visit paid to Rarotonga by my esteemed 
colleague, Mr. Barff, he perceived that the con- 
gregation of three thousand people to whom he 
preached were all habited in black clothing.* 
Upon inquiring the reason of this unusual and 
dismal attire, he was informed by Mr. Buzacott 
that, on the recent death of his little girl, the 
king and chiefs requested that they and their 
people might be permitted to wear mourning, as 
they did not wish to appear in their ordinary gay 
habiliments while the family of their Missionary 
was in affliction. Such an instance of delicate 
respect could scarcely have been expected from a 
people, who twelve years before were cannibals, 
and addicted to every vice. 

* Made from the payer-mulberry, morusCliine.nsis, and 
coloured with preparations from the candle-nut aleurites 

On the following night two more disasters 
befell us, which, although of a different character, 
and not to be compared with those I have enu- 
merated, were still rendered important by the 
circumstances in which we were placed. I had 
taken with me from Raiatea a cask of cocoa-nut 
oil, holding one hundred and eighty gallons, for 
the purpose of making chunam, to put on the 
bottom of the vessel instead of copper, to protect 
it from worms, and render it water-tight ; but a 
worthless young man, in stealing a portion of it, 
having neglected to drive in a spile, it all ran 
out, and there being now, in consequence of the 
hurricane, very few cocoa-nuts at Raratonga, I 
had no means of obtaining a fresh supply. The 
second misfortune was the loss of my best boat, 
worth at least 20. This was stolen in the 
night by four men and a woman, who went in 
her to sea. I have no doubt but that they 
perished, for, as the wind then blew, it would 
drive them in a direction where there was no 
land for thousands of miles. Thus drearily 
closed the eventful year 1831. 

The chiefs and people of Mr. Pitman's station 
undertook to return, on my behalf, the compli- 
ment which Makea and his party had paid to 
me, who, with ourselves, had hoped that the 
child would have lived, and that it would have 
proved a visit of congratulation, instead of 
condolence. About three hundred pigs were 
killed for the occasion, some of which were 
very large, and all of them baked whole. 
The vegetable food was not proportionate in 
quantity, nearly all having been destroyed by 
the hurricane. The whole of this was presented 
in my name to Makea, and there was much that 
was novel and singular in the distribution of the 
food. Great ceremony was observed ; and it 
was divided into ten portions, placed in a row, 
according to the number of countries and islands 
which were to share in the sumptuous provision 
of the day. The first was assigned by the orator 
to William IV., the great king of Britain. Mr. 
Pitman, Mr. Buzacott, and myself, being En- 
glishmen, were looked upon as his Majesty's 
representatives, and of course had the honour of 
taking his portion. The speaker, assuming an 
oratorical attitude, then shouted with a stento- 
rian voice, that the next portion was for the 
" great chief of America." As the mate of my 
vessel was of that country, and was looked upon 
as the representative of the President, he took 
possession of this portion. The kings of 
Hawaii, Tahiti, Raiatea, Aitutaki, Mangaia, 
and Tongatabu, then came in for their shares ; 
and individuals from these various islands, as 
soon as the orator had announced their names, 
stepped forward to receive them. The scene 
altogether was far from being destitute of inter- 
est. A few days after the kind-hearted native 
teacher Papeiha, and his wife, with Tinomana 
the chief, and nearly all the people of the Aro- 
rangi station, came in like manner to pay their 
respects to us. 

Between two and three months elapsed be- 
fore we could do much to the vessel, as the 
natives were fully employed in erecting their 
dwellings and performing the public work. We 



_. i' 

therefore devoted our time to the translations. 
At length we commenced with great spirit, and 
in the month of May the repairs and alterations 
were completed, and the vessel was ready to be 
launched. But, before she could again float 
upon her own element, we had to lift her out 
of a hole, and drag her several hundred yards 
over a swamp. And here our ingenuity was 
put to the test. The method, however, by 
which we contrived to raise the vessel, was ex- 
ceedingly simple, and by it we were enabled to 
accomplish the task with great ease. Long 
levers were passed under her keel, with the 
fulcrum so fixed as to give them an elevation of 
about forty-five degrees. The ends of these 
were then fastened together, with several cross- 
beams, upon which a quantity of stones were 
placed, the weight of which gradually elevated 
one end of the vessel until the levers reached 
the ground. Propping up the bow thus raised, 
we shifted our levers to the stern, which was in 
like manner elevated, and, by repeating this 
process three or four times, we lifted her in one 
day entirely out of the hole. The bog was 
then filled up with stones, logs- of wood were 
laid across it, rollers were placed under the 
vessel, the chain cable passed round her, and, 
by the united strength of about two thousand 
people, she was compelled to take a short voyage 
upon the land, before she floated in her pride 
upon the sea. 

Having been detained so much longer than 
I anticipated, we were not able, from want of 
provisions, to proceed at once to the Navigators' 
Islands ; and, as our friends at Rarotonga were 
in necessitous circumstances, we were compelled 
in this first place to visit Tahiti. Accompanied 
by Mr. Buzacott, we sailed for the Society 
Islands, where our brethren gave us a most 
hearty welcome. They had been very anxious 
on our account ; for, in addition to my long ab- 
sence and the terrible hurricane, which they 
also had experienced, newspapers had been re- 
ceived from Sidney, stating that portions of a 
vessel, which appeared by the description to 
answer to ours, had been seen floating about 
near the Navigators' Islands, which had excited 
their serious apprehensions for our safety. On 
arriving at Tahiti we heard such distressing 
tidings of the state of Raiatea, as rendered it de- 
sirable that I should, if possible, spend a month 
there, while Mr. Buzacott remained at Tahiti, 
and employed his time in assisting Mr. Darling 
to print for him the Epistles of St. Peter, and in 
acquiring a little knowledge of the art. 

On arriving at Raiatea, I was perfectly 
astounded at beholding the scenes of drunken- 
ness which prevailed in my formerly flourishing 
station. There were scarcely a hundred people 
who had not disgraced themselves; and persons 
who had made a copsistent profession of reli- 
gion for years had been drawn into the vortex. 
The son and successor of old Tamatoa was a 
very dissipated young man, and when he suc- 
ceeded to the government, instead of following 
his father's good example, he sanctioned the 
introduction of ardent spirits. Encouraged by 
him, and taking advantage cf my absence, a 

trading captain brought a small cask on shore, 
and sold it to the natives. This revived their 
dormant appetite, and like pent-up waters, the 
disposition burst forth, and, with the impetuosity 
of a resistless torrent, carried the people before 
it, so that they appeared maddened with infatu- 
ation. I could scarcely imagine that they were 
the same persons among whom I had lived so 
long, and of whom I had thought so highly. 

As the smarl cask which had been imported 
was sufficient only to awaken the desire for 
more, they had actually prepared nearly twenty 
stills, which were in active operation when I 
arrived. A meeting was immediately called, 
which I was requested to attend, when resolu- 
tions were passed that all the stills should forth- 
with be destroyed. A new judge was nomi- 
nated, the laws were re-established, and persons 
selected to go round the island, and carry the 
resolutions into effect. In some districts these 
met with considerable opposition, but in others 
they succeeded without difficulty. The follow- 
ing week they were dispatched again, when 
they destroyed several more ; but in their last 
journey they were accompanied by the late ex- 
cellent Maihara, of Huahine, the favourite 
daughter of our good old king, who had come 
to Raiatea, with some respectable officers from 
her own island, for the purpose of completing 
the destruction of the stills. This they happily 
accomplished ; for, on their return from their 
last circuit of the island, they reported that every 
still was demolished, and every still-house burnt 
to the ground. Some of the natives, however, 
determined to purchase ardent spirits from the 
ships ; while the majority wished me to form a 
Temperance Society, with a view to its entire 
abolition ; but, as I could not remain to super- 
intend its operation, I did not think it. advisable 
to accede to their request. This, however, has 
been effected since I left ; and a letter, just re- 
ceived from the formerly dissipated young chief, 
afforded me much satisfaction. It is dated 
Raiatea, April 30, 1836 ; 

" Dear Friend, 

" Blessing on you, Mr. Williams, from 
the true God, through Jesus Christ, the King of 
Peace, the Saviour in whom alone we can be 

" This is my little communication to you. 
The spirits about which your thoughts were 
evil towards me, I have entirely done away 
with, because my heart is sick of that bad path, 
and I am now ' pressing towards the mark for 
the prize of my high calling.' These are now 
my thoughts, that God may become my own 
God. This is really my wish. I am commend- 
ing myself to God and to the word of his grace," 
&c, &c. 

Whether there be a real change of heart or 
not in this individual, I cannot say, but I am 
truly thankful and -n this feeling every friend 
of missions will participate that the people, 
with their chief, have been brought to see their 
folly, and abandon the use of that which waq 
unfitting them lor earth and heaven, by render- 
ing them poor, profligate, and miserable. The 



circumstances under which the use of ardent 
spirits was abandoned at Tahiti were of the most 
interesting character. The evil had become so 
alarming that the Missionaries felt that some- 
thing must be attempted, and therefore deter- 
mined to set the people an example, by abstain- 
ing entirely from the use of ardent spirits, and 
by forming Temperance Societies. These worked 
exceedingly well, especially at Papara, the 
6tation occupied by our venerable and inde- 
fatigable brother, Mr. Davis. The beneficial 
results were so apparent to the natives them- 
selves, that all the inhabitants of the district 
agreed that no ardent spirits should be intro- 
duced into their settlement. Most of the people 
of the other districts, observing their prosperity, 
followed their example. At this time the par- 
liament met ; for, since they have been brought 
under the influence of Christianity, the repre- 
sentative form of government has been adopted. 
On this occasion, and before the members pro- 
ceeded to business, they sent a message to the 
queen to know upon what principles they were 
to act. She returned a copy of the New Testa- 
ment, saying, " Let the principles contained in 
that book he the foundation of all your proceed- 
ings f and immediately they enacted a law to 
prohibit trading with any vessel which brought 
ardent spirits for sale ; and now there is but one 
island in the group, Porapora, where these are 

Having accomplished at Raiatea the destruc- 
tion of the stills, and the re-establishment of 
law and order, we prepared to depart for Raro- 
tonga, having on board a valuable cargo, con- 
sisting of several barrels of flour, which we 
very opportunely procured from an American 
ship, and other provisions for our necessitous 
families ; together with horses, asses, and cattle 
The two former excited the unbounded astonish- 
ment of the natives. Like their brethren of the 
Tahitian islands, they called them all pigs. The 
horse was e buaka apa tangata, the great pig that 
carries the man ; the dog they called e buaka aoa, 
or the barking pig ; and the ass, e buaka turituri, or 
the noisy pig. This last, however, was honoured 
with another name, which was, e buaka ta- 
ringa roa, or the long-eared pig. The horses 
and asses have greatly facilitated the labours of 
the Missionaries, and the cattle have proved an 
invaluable addition to the comforts of the mission 

* It was upwards of ten years after our arrival in the 
islands before we tasted beef; and, when we killed our 
first ox, the mission families from the adjacent islands met 
at our house to enjoy the treat; but, to our mortification, 
we had so entirely lost the relish, that none of us could 
hear either the taste or smell of it. One of the Mission- 
aries' wives hurst into tears, and lamented bitterly that 
she should become so barbarous as to have lost her relish 
for English beef. 


Second Visit to the Navigators Te-ava's Prayer Arri- 
val at Manua Salutations of the People Find some 
Raivavaiaus Orosenga and Ofu The desire every- 
where expressed for Missionaries Sail for Tutuila 
Interesting Interview at Leone Bay The Author car- 
ried on shore A Chief prays upon the Deck Run- 
away Sailors baptizing the People. 

After landing our stores at Rarotonga, Te- 
ava, a pious and intelligent member of Mr. 
Buzacott's church, was set apart to the im- 
portant office of a missionary ; being designed 
for the station of Manono, the island of which 
the gigantic Matetau, to whom I promised a 
teacher, was chief. Makea also was anxious to 
accompany me. Hoping that many advan- 
tages might result from his presence, we readily 
acceded to his wish. Everything being ready, 
on Thursday evening, October 11, 1832, we 
directed our course once more for the Samoa 

On the following Tuesday I requested Te- 
ava to conduct our morning's devotions ; and, 
being much pleased with the novelty and ex- 
cellency of his prayer, and the pious fervour of 
his manner, I wrote it down immediately after, 
and have preserved the following extract : 

" If we fly up to heaven, we shall find thee 
there ; if we dwell upon the land, thou art 
there ; if we sail upon the sea, thou art there ; 
and this affords us comfort ; so that we sail 
upon the ocean without fear, because thou, O 
God, art in our ship. The king of our bodies 
has his subjects, to whom he issues his orders : 
but, if he himself goes with them, his presence 
stimulates their zeal ; they begin it with energy, 
they do it soon, they do it well. O Lord, thou 
art the King of our spirits ; thou hast issued 
orders to thy subjects to do a great work ; thou 
hast commanded them to go into all the world, 
and preach the Gospel to every creature : we, 

Lord, are going upon that errand ; and let 
thy presence go with us to quicken us, and en- 
able us to persevere in the great work until we 
die. Thou hast said that thy presence shall go 
with thy people, even unto the end of the world. 
Fulfil, O Lord, to us this cheering promise. I 
see, O Lord, a compass in this vessel, by which 
the shipmen steer the right way ; do thou be 
our compass to direct us in the right course, 
that we may escape obstructions and dangers in 
our work. Be to us, O Lord, the compass of 

On our former voyages we visited only two 
of the islands, Savaii and Upolu, the largest in 
the cluster, but the farthest west. On this, I 
determined to touch at every island in the 
group ; and, as we were sailing from the east, 

1 resolved to take them in rotation. 

On the morning of the 17th we descried land ; 
having run a distance of nearly eight hundred 
miles in five days, without having had occasion 
to shift our sails since we bid adieu to our 
friends at Rarotonga. Thus pleasant is it, fre- 
quently, to sail westward, wafted by the trade- 
winds of tropical climes. The land we saw 
proved to be the island of Manua, the most 
easterly of the Samoa group, and about two 



hundred and fifty miles from that on which our 
Missionaries were residing. On nearing the 
shore, a number of canoes approached us, in 
one of which some natives stood up and shouted, 
" We are Christians, we are Christians ;* -\ve 
are waiting for a falau htu, a religion-ship, to 
bring us some people whom they call Mis- 
sionaries, to tell us about Jesus Christ. Is 
yours the ship we are waiting fori" This was 
a delightful salutation, and showed that the 
knowledge of the Gospel had preceded us. A 
fine-looking man now sprang on board, and in- 
troduced himself as a Christian, or "Son of 
the word." On learning that ours was "a re- 
ligion-ship," he expressed himself highly de- 
lighted, and ordered his people to present us 
with all the cocoa-nuts and other food that was 
in the canoe. He then asked us for a Mis- 
sionary ; and, upon being informed that we had 
only one, and that he was intended for Matetau, 
of Manono, he manifested deep regret, and 
begged that I would supply him as soon as pos- 
sible. We gave him a trifling present and some 
elementary books, said a few words of en- 
couragement, and bade him adieu ; promising 
to bring him a Missionary as soon as circum- 
stances would permit. 

Our boat now returned to the ship, convey- 
ing a native of the island of Raivavae, which 
lies about three hundred and fifty miles south 
of Tahiti. On expressing my surprise at see- 
ing him there, a distance of about two thousand 
miles from his home, he informed me that he 
and his party were returning in a boat from the 
neighbouring island of Tupuai, when they lost 
their way, and were driven about at sea for 
nearly three months, during which distressing 
period twenty of their number died. It ap- 
peared from their statement that they had erected 
a chapel, and since their arrival had been re- 
gular in their observance of the ordinances of 
the Christian worship ; that Hura was their 
teacher, and that most of them could read the 
eight portions of the Tahitian Scriptures, which 
they had carefully preserved, and highly valued. 

Just as we were leaving Manua, a tine young 
man stepped on board our vessel, and requested 
me to give him a passage to Tutuila, a large 
island about forty miles distant. He stated 
that he was a Christian, and that he wished 
much to carry to the people of his own island 
the good news of which he was in possession. 
I, of coarse, readily acceded to his request. 

Leaving Manua, we sailed over to Orosenga 
and Ofu, two islands separated by a narrow 
channel, about two miles from Manua. On 
entering the bay a canoe came off, having on 
board an old chief. We inquired whether he 
had heard of the new religion, which was making 
such progress at Savaii and Upolu, and, upon 
being answered in the negative, we told him 
our object in visiting the Samoa Islands. 
Having listened with apparent surprise, he 
earnestly entreated me to leave him a teacher, 
promising to treat him with the greatest kind- 
ness and to " give him plenty tc eat." Find- 

* The phrase they used was, literally, Sons of the 

ing that this was impossible, he begged for one 
of my native sailors, as a hostage, to insure my 
return. He also importuned me to remain 
with him a few days ; but this I declined, being 
anxious to reach Savaii by the Sabbath. He was 
urgent that I should supply him with a mus- 
ket and powder ; but I informed him, that ours 
was a " religion-ship," and that we had books 
to teach men the knowledge of the true God, 
and the way of salvation, but no muskets, with 
which they might destroy each other. I then 
pressed him to abandon his barbarous wars,* 
and become a worshipper of Jehovah, whose 
religion was one of peace and mercy. This, 
the old chieftain said, was very good, and pleased 
his heart ; but, as he had no one to teach them, 
how was he to know 1 Having made our visiter 
a trifling present, we directed our course for 

Early the following morning we made Tu- 
tuila, and were very soon surrounded by a vast 
number of canoes, some of which contained 
twenty or thirty men. These appeared so ex- 
cessively wild that we did not suffer many of 
them to board us. This, however, we could 
scarcely prevent ; for, although we were sailing 
seven or eight miles an hour, they paddled so 
fast that they kept pace with us, clung to the 
side of the vessel, and were so expert, that, not- 
withstanding our precautions, they sprang on 
board the ship. A canoe now came alongside with 
an Englishman, who called himself William 
Gray, and said that he had been at Tutuila 
about three years. As the natives were very 
clamorous for powder and muskets, we inquired 
of Gray whether they were at war, and. found 
that two powerful chiefs were expected shortly 
to engage in a severe conflict. Upon asking 
him whether the people of Tutuila had heard 
of our Missionaries, and had become Christians, 
he informed me that very many had renounced 
heathenism at Savaii and Upolu ; but that only 
a few had done so at Tutuila. 

Having obtained all the information we could 
from this individual, we prosecuted our voyage 
down the south coast, the varied beauties of 
which struck us with surprise and delight as 
we glided past them. At length we reached a 
district called Leone, where the young man 
whom we had brought from Manua resided. 
On entering the mouth of the spacious and 
beautiful bay, Ave were hoarded by a person 
who introduced himself as a " Son of the word." 
We gave him a hearty welcome, and learned, in 
reply to our inquiries, that in his district about 
fifty persons had embraced Christianity, had 
erected a place of worship, and were anxiously 
waiting my arrival. This information was un- 
expected and delightful, and I determined im- 
mediately to visit the spot. With this intent 
we lowered our little boat, and approached 
the shore When about twenty yards from the 
beach, as the heathen presented rather a formi- 
dable appearance, I desired the native crew to 
cease rowing, and unite with me in prayer, 
which was our usual practice when exposed to 

The adjoining island is almost depopulated, the iu- 
habitants having been slain by these people. 



danger. The chief, who stood in the centre of 
the assembled multitude, supposing that we 
were afraid to land, made the people sit down 
under the grove of bread-fruit, cocoa-nut, and 
other trees which girt the shore. He then 
waded into the water nearly up to his neck, 
and took hold of the boat, when, addressing me 

in his native tongue, he said, " Son, will you 
not come on shore f will you not land amongst 
us?" To this I replied, " I do not know that 
I shall trust myself; I have heard a sad account 
of you in this bay, that you have taken two 
boats, and that you are exceedingly savage ; and 
perhaps when you get me into your possession 

you will either injure my person or demand a 
ransom for my release." " Oh," he shouted, 
" we are not savage now; we are Christians." 
" You Christians I" I said. " Where did you 
hear of Christianity'?" "Oh," he exclaimed, 
" a great chief from the white man's country, 

named Williams, came to Savaii, about twenty 
moons ago, and placed some tama-fai-lotu, 
'workers of religion,' there, and several of our 
people who were there began, on their return, 
to instruct their friends, many of whom have 
become sons of the word. There they are ; 



don't you see theml" Looking in the direc- 
tion to which he pointed, I saw a group uf about 
fifty persons seated under the wide-spreading 
branches of large ton, and other trees, apart from 
those whom he had ordered to sit down along 
the beach. Every one of this group had a piece 
of white native cloth tied round his arm. I in- 
quired of the chief what this meant, when he 
replied, " They are the Christians, and that cloth 
is to distinguish them from their heathen coun- 
trymen." " Why," I immediately exclaimed, 
" I am the person you allude to ; my name is 
Williams. I took the workers of religion to 
Savaii twenty moons ago"?" The moment he 
heard this, he made a signal to the multitude, who 
sprang from their seats, rushed to the sea, seized 
the boat, and carried both it and us to the shore. 
Upon landing, Amoamo, the chief, took me by 
the hand, and conducted me to the Christians ; 
and, after the usual salutations, I inquired 
where they had heard of Christianity. Upon 
this, one of their number, rather more forward 
than his brethren, replied that he had been 
down to the "workers of religion," had brought 
back some knowledge, and was now engaged in 
imparting to his countrymen ; " And there is 
our chapel," said he, "don't you see itl" 
Turning to the direction in which he pointed, I 
saw a small rustic place of worship, which would 
hold about eighty or a hundred people, peep- 
ing through the foliage of the bananas and bread- 
fruit trees in which it was embowered. Accom- 
panied by my loquacious friend and two or 
three others, I asked him, on reaching the house, 
who performed service there on Sabbath-day % 
To this he instantly replied, " I do." " And 
who," inquired I, "'has taught you 1" "Why," 
said he, " did you not see a little canoe by the 
side of your boat, when we carried you on shore 
just now 1 That is my canoe, in which I go 
down to the teachers, get some religion, which 
I bring carefully home, and give to the people ; 
and, when that is gone, I take my canoe again, 
and fetch some more. And now you are come, 
for whom we have been so long waiting, where's 
our teacher 1 Give me a man full of religion, 
that I may not expose my life to danger by going 
so long a distance to fetch it." I was truly 
grieved at beingcompelled to tell him that I had 
no Missionary. On hearing this he was affected 
almost to tears, and would scarcely believe me ; 
for he imagined that the vessel was full of 
Missionaries, and that I could easily supply the 
demand. This, however, was impossible ; but 
I trust that the day is not distant when Mis- 
sionaries will not be doled out as they now are, 
but when their numbers will bear a nearer pro- 
portion to the wants of the heathen. And why 
should not this be the case 1 How many thou- 
sands of ships has England sent to foreign coun- 
tries to spread devastation and death 1 The 
money expended in building, equipping, and 
supporting one of these, would be sufficient, 
with the Divine blessing, to convey Christianity, 
with all its domestic comforts, its civilizing 
effects, and spiritual advantages, to hundreds 
and thousands of people. 
It will not be supposed that these poor islanders 

knew much about the principles of the religion 
they had embraced, neither was there anything 
in their dress or persons, except the piece of 
white cloth round their arms, to distinguish 
them from their heathen brethren : yet, rude and 
unseemly as their appearance was, I could not 
but look upon them with feelings of the liveliest 
interest, and regard them as an earnest of the 
complete victory that the Gospel would shortly ob- 
tain over the superstitions, the idolatries, and the 
barbarities of the inhabitants of the whole group. 

Another circumstance which added great 
interest to this scene was, the striking contrast 
between my reception and that of the unfor- 
tunate La Perouse ; for, if he be correct in the 
name he has given to the bay, this was the same 
in which his lamented comrade, M. De Langle, 
and eleven of his crew, were most barbarously 

After viewing their rude chapel, I accompanied 
the chief to his dwelling, when I inquired if 
he also had become a worshipper of Jehovah. 
To this he replied in the negative ; but added, 
" If you will give me a worker of religion to 
teach me, I will lisilisi (become a believer) im- 
mediately." It was with sincere regret that I 
was compelled to say that it was out of my 
power to do so ; but still I exhorted him to 
unite with the Christians, and to give them all 
the countenance he could. Thus were this 
people, who had been esteemed most ferocious, 
and who had ill-treated or massacred some of 
the crews of all the vessels with which they had 
intercourse, prepared to receive us. 

On returning to the ship, I found that Makea 
and our people had been much entertained by 
natives from the adjoining valley, who were 
anxiously waiting to present an earnest request 
that I would pay them a visit. As soon as I 
stepped on board the chief seized me most cor- 
dially ; but, esteeming me greater than himself, 
he only rubbed his nose on my hand. He then 
assured me that he and nearly all his people 
were Christians ; that they had erected a spa- 
cious place of worship, in imitation of the one 
built by the teachers at Sapapalii, from which 
place he had lately come, and brought the lotu; 
and that he was daily engaged in teaching his 
people what he himself had been taught by the 
Missionaries. Upon my saying that, from my 
knowledge of the native character, I did not 
place implicit confidence'in all that I heard, he 
adopted a most effectual method of convincing 
me of the truth of his assertions ; for, placing 
his hands before him in the form of a book, he 
recited a chapter out of our Tahitian primer, 
partly in the Tahitian dialect and partly in the 
Samoan ; after which he said, " Let us pray ;" 
and, kneeling down upon our little quarter- 
deck, he repeated the Lord's Prayer in broken 
Tahitian. The artless simplicity and apparent 
sincerity of this individual pleased us exceed- 
ingly. We gave him some elementary books, 
made him a trifling present, and promised, if 
possible, to call and spend a day or two with 
him on our return from Savaii. 

On the following day we reached Upolu, when 
natives from various parts of the island ap- 



proached us saying that they were " Sons of 
the Word," and that they were waiting for the 
" religion-ship of Mr. Williams to bring them 
Missionaries." In one of these we perceived 
two Englishmen. Upon being admitted on 
board, and learning who I was, thinking that 
it would afford me pleasure, they began to de- 
scribe their exploits in turning people religion, 
as they termed it. Wishing to obtain all the 
information I could from these men. I inquired 
the number of their converts, which they stated 
to be between two and three hundred ; and, 
having asked how they effected their object, 
one of them said, "Why, Sir, I goes about and 
talks to the people, and tells 'em that our God is 
good, and theirs is bad ; and, when they listens 
to me, I makes 'em religion, and baptizes 'em." 
" Sure," I exclaimed, " you baptize them do 
you 1 ? how do you perform that'!" " Why, Sir," 
he answered, " I takes water, and dips my 
hands in it, and crosses them in their foreheads 
and in their breasts, and then I reads a bit of a 
prayer to 'em in English." " Of course," I 
said, "they understand you." "No," he re- 
joined, " but they says they knows it does 'em 

In addition to this, I found that these two in- 
dividuals had pretended to heal the sick, by 
reading a " bit of a prayer" over them, for 
which they extorted property from the people. 
I remonstrated with them upon the fearful 
wickedness of their conduct ; and they promised 
that they would not again pursue such a course. 
This is only a specimen of many similar inter- 
views which we had with persons of the same 
class, and shows the great importance of 
Christian exertion on behalf of British seamen. 


Arrival at Manono Joy of Matetau Reach Savaii 
Sabbath Services there Malietoa's Address Inter- 
view between Makea and Malietoa An important 
Meeting held Makea's Speech Malietoa's replies to 
the Author's Questions The Teacher's Narrative 
Consultation with the Teachers Advice given upon 
various important topics Snakes Earthquakes. 

On Saturday afternoon we reached Manono, 
and, as we were passing this little garden island, 
my colossal friend, Matetau, came off to us. 
After embracing me cordially, and rubbing 
noses quite as long as was agreeable, he said, 
" Where's my Missionary c ( I have not forgot- 
ten your promise." "No more have I," was my 
rejoinder ; " here he is." I then introduced 
Te-ava and his wife, when he seized them with 
delight, saluted their noses with a long and 
hearty rub, and exclaimed, lelei, lelei, lava, 
" good, very good ; I am happy now." Having 
stated to the chief that I was anxious to reach 
the Missionary station before dark, and that he 
must either accompany me and return in a few 
days, or go on shore, he said, " I must hasten 
back to tell my people the good news, that you 
have come and brought the promised Mission- 
ary." Again rubbing my nose, he stepped into 
his canoe, and, skimming over the billows, 
sailed towards the shore, shouting, as he ap- 

proached it, that Mr. Williams had brought 
them their Missionary. 

We reached the station of Malietoa about 
five o'clock, when the teachers and people 
manifested extravagant joy at seeing us. As 
the twelve months during which we had pro- 
mised to return had elapsed, they had enter- 
tained fears lest they should never see me again. 
When I informed them that my detention had 
been occasioned by the dreadful hurricane we 
had experienced at Rarotonga, they stated that 
it had extended to all the Navigators' Islands, 
and had been most destructive in its ravages. 

After the first expressions of joy, which 
South Sea Islanders invariably show by weep- 
ing, had subsided, I desired the teachers to 
inform me what had occurred during the im- 
portant period of their residence among the 
people, when I learned that Malietoa, his bro- 
ther, the principal chiefs, and nearly all the in- 
habitants of their settlement, had embraced 
Christianity ; that their chapel would accom- 
date six or seven hundred people, and that 
it was always full ; and that in the two large 
islands of Savaii and Upolu the Gospel had 
been introduced into more than thirty villages. 
In addition to this, they stated that the great 
body of the people were only waiting my arrival 
to renounce their heathen system. This was 
most delightful information, and drew forth 
tears of gratitude to God, for having in so short 
a time granted us such a rich reward. 

As the old king, Malietoa, was from home, 
catching wood- pigeons, a sport of which the 
chiefs are extremely fond, a messenger was de- 
spatched to inform him of our arrival. At about 
half- past six o'clock all the Missionaries left 
home to visit numerous houses in vhe settle- 
ment, for the purpose of conducting family 
worship : many of their converts not having 
acquired sufficient knowledge to officiate them- 

Although Malietoa was absent, I determined 
to take up my residence at his house, knowing 
that it would afford him pleasure to find me 
there on his return. 

At about nine o'clock the next morning I 
went to the chapel, accompanied by the teachers 
and Makea. It was built in the Tahitian style, 
but thatched with the leaves of the sugar-cane, 
instead of the Pandanus. There were but few 
seats in it, and the floor was covered with 
plaited cocoa-nut leaves. The congregation con- 
sisted of about seven hundred persons, and, 
notwithstanding their singularly uncultivated 
and grotesque appearance, it was impossible to 
view them without feelings of the liveliest in- 
terest, while with outstretched necks and open 
mouths they listened to the important truths by 
regarding which they would be delivered from 
the appalling gloom in which they had for ages 
been enveloped. Divine service was commenced 
by a hymn in the Tahitian language, which was 
sung by the teachers only. One of them then 
read a chapter of the Tahitian Testament, trans- 
lated it into the Samoan dialect, and engaged 
in prayer with great ease and fluency. This 
concluded, I addressed to them a short dis- 



course, and, as I spoke in Tahitian, one of the 
teachers acted as interpreter. My wild audience 
appeared to listen with profound attention, and 
conducted themselves with great propriety. Our 
noble-looking chief, Makea, excited much in- 
terest, for in addition to his size and command- 
ing aspect, he was dressed in European costume, 
with a red surtout which was presented to him 
by Mrs. Buzacott just before our departure. 

On returning home, I inquired of the teachers 
why they had not taught the people to sing, 
when they informed me that they began to do 
so, but, as the females sang the hymns at their 
dances, they thought it better to desist. On in- 
quiry, we learned that the teachers' wives had 
also attempted to instruct the Samoa females in 
the manufacture of white Tahitian cloth, of 
which they had made large quantities for the 
chiefs, but that the women were so idle that 
they could not be induced to learn the art, 
although the cloth was exceedingly admired. 
We also found that they had unsuccessfully en- 
deavoured to persuade them to cover the upper 
part of their persons, of which they were ex- 
cessively vain. Indeed, they were continually 
entreating the teachers' wives to lay aside their 
European garments, and faasamoa, that is, 
adopt the Samoa fashions, which was to gird a 
shaggy mat around the loins, loop the corner 
of it on the right side, anoint themselves pro- 
fusely with scented oil, tinge themselves with 
turmeric rouge, fasten a row of blue beads round 
the neck, and faariaria, strut about and show 
themselves ; and they enforced their wishes by 
assuring them that, if they did so, all would 
admire them. 

At about one o'clock Malietoa arrived. He 
was neatly dressed in a white shirt and waist- 
coat, and were a beautifully-wrought mat as a 
substitute for trousers. He looked exceedingly 
well, and the contrast between his appearance 
then and at our former interview, when he 
came direct from scenes of war and bloodshed, 
was very striking. After the usual salutation, 
he expressed his sincere pleasure in again wel- 
coming me to the shores of Savaii, where they 
had been most anxiously expecting me for 
several months. He then said that it afforded 
him the greatest satisfaction to be able to pre- 
sent to me all my people in health, and to say 
that neither their persons nor property had suf- 
fered injury. He added that he was truly 
thankful that the good word of Jehovah had 
been brought to his islands, and that so many 
had embraced it ; " and now," continued he, 
with an animation which indicated his delight, 
" all the people will follow ; for by your return 
they will be convinced that the lotu is true, and 
will believe the assurance of the teachers. For 
my own part," he added, " my heart is single 
in its desire to know the word of Jehovah." 
After thanking him for so faithfully fulfilling 
his promise, and explaining the cause of our 
detention, I introduced my companion, Makea, 
the king of Rarotonga. The old chieftain viewed 
him with an eagle's eye, and, after various in- 
quiries, gave him a cordial welcome to his 
island, and complimented him by saying that 

he was the finest man he had ever beneld, and 
was not to be equalled by any chief iu the 
Samoa group. 

In the afternoon I preached to a congrega- 
tion of not less than a thousand persons, and 
found it a delightful employment to tell the 
wonderful story of redeeming love to a multi- 
tude on whom the light of the Gospel was just 
beginning to dawn; and earnestly did I prav 
that soon " they might be able, with all saints, 
to comprehend the breadth, and length, and 
depth, and height, of that love which passetli 

At the conclusion of the service one of the 
teachers arose, and thus addressed the assembly : 
" Friends, for a long time we have been subject 
to ridicule ; and some have even represented us 
as deceivers, and endeavoured to confirm their 
representations by saying, ' Where is Mr. Wil- 
liams 1 he will never return : if he comes again 
we will believe.' Here, then, is our minister, 
for whom you have been waiting ; you can ask 
him any questions you please, in confirmation 
of what we have told you. Moreover, there is 
an impostor * who has taught the people to 
keep Saturday as the sacred day, and some of 
you have listened to his advice. Here is our 
minister from England, the dwelling-place of 
knowledge ; he and his brother Missionaries are 
the fountains from which its streams have flowed 
through these islands. Ask him, now, respect- 
ing the points concerning which you have 
doubted. He is our root." 

In reply to this address, Malietoa, after a 
short interval, came forward, and delivered a 
most sensible speech, the substance of which 
was, that the Missionaries should not regard 
what any insignificant person might say, and 
that he hoped all suspicious feeling would sub- 
side ; " for surely," he exclaimed, " they will 
now be convinced that what they have heard is 
the truth. Let all Savaii, all Upolu, embrace 
this great religion; and as to myself," he said, 
" my whole soul shall be given to the word of 
Jehovah, and my utmost endeavours employed 
that it may speedily encircle the land." At the 
conclusion of the chief's address, I desired one 
of the teachers to inform the people that, as I 
expected to remain with them a week or a fort- 
night, I should feel much pleasure, either pub- 
licly or privately, in answering any inquiries. 
It was therefore arranged that a public meeting 
should be convened on the following day. We 
spent the evening of this memorable Sabbath 
very profitably, in dedicating two of the Mis- 
sionaries' children, born upon the island, to 
God in baptism. 

The teachers expressed a wish that the service 
might be private, lest the Samoans, who imi- 
tated everything they saw, should do the same 
to their own children. After this the teachers 
went, as usual, to a number of houses in the 
settlement to conduct family worship, and I 

This individual was a native of Upoiu, and had 
visited Tahati. where lie had obtained a little knowledge 
of Christianity ; and being an artful fellow, he had, like 
the runaway sailors, taken advantage of the general ex- 
citement, and had practised much deceit upon the people. 



employed the interval in composing two or 
three hymns in the Samoa language. 

Early on Monday morning, a present of pigs, 
bread-fruit, &c, was brought to us, and at ten 
o'clock a messenger came to request our attend- 
ance at a meeting convened in the large public 
building. On our arrival we found it com- 
pletely filled within, and surrounded by a crowd 
who could not gain admission. A vacant space 
was preserved in the centre for Makea and my- 
self. Malietoa was seated opposite to us, at a 
distance of several yards, when, after exchanging 
salutations, I told him that I had come according 
to my promise, and that I was exceedingly de- 
lighted to find that he had fulfilled all his en- 
gagements, and had, with so many of his people, 
embraced Christianity. To this the old chieftain 
made a long and sensible reply, after which 
Makea entertained and delighted the people 
with an account of the introduction and effects 
of Christianity at Rarotonga. " Now," he said, 
" we enjoy happiness, to which our ancestors 
were strangers : our ferocious wars have ceased ; 
our houses are the abodes of comfort ; Ave have 
European property ; books in our own language ; 
our children can read ; and, above all, we know 
the true God, and the way of salvation by his 
son Jesus Christ." He concluded his important 
and most effective address by earnestly exhort- 
ing Malietoa and his brother chiefs to grasp 
with a firm hold the word of Jehovah ; " for this 
alone," he added, " can make you a peaceable 
and happy people. I should have died a savage 
had it not been for the Gospel." 

Makea's address produced a most powerful 
impression. His appearance convinced- every 
one that he was a great chief; and his colour, 
that he was one of their own people ; and, in 
their estimation, he was more splendidly attired 
than any European they had ever seen,* which 
they attributed to his having become a worship- 
per of Jehovah. In reply, Malietoa stated his 
full conviction of the advantage which would 
grow out of the good word. " We," he said, 
" should never have known each other but for 
that word." He then declared his strong at- 
tachment to Christianity, and his determination 
to hold it with a firm grasp, as Makea had ex- 
horted him. Encouraged by this, I informed 
Malietoa and his people that the Christians in 
England with whom I was connected were wil- 
ling to send English Missionaries, if they sin- 
cerely desired to receive them ; and I therefore 
wanted an explicit declaration of their wishes, 
as they had had sufficient time to form an opi- 
nion of the spirit' and principles of Christianity. 
To this Malietoa instantly replied, with most 
emphatic energy, " We are one ; we are only 
one ; we are thoroughly one in our determina- 
tion to be Christians." Proceeding with my 
interrogatories, I said, "What is your wish 1 ?" 
but, full of his subject, before I finished my 
question, he replied, " Our wish is that you 
should fetch your family, and come and live 
and die with us, to tell uo about Jehovah, and 
teach us how to love Jesus Christ." I said, 

* Makea wore his red surtout which Airs. Buzacott 
had kindly made aud presented to him. 

" But I am only one, and there are eight islands 
in the group, and the people are so numerous, 
that the work is too great for any individual ; 
and my proposition is, that I return immedi- 
ately to my native country, and inform my bro- 
ther Christians of your anxiety to be instructed." 
" Well," replied the chieftain, " go, go with 
speed ; obtain all the Missionaries you can, and 
come again as soon as possible ; but we shall be 
dead, many of us will be dead, before you re- 
turn." There was something to my mind thril- 
lingly affecting in the above expression ; and 
callous indeed must have been the individual 
who could witness such a scene, and listen to 
such sentiments, without emotion. I went on 
to state that, as the English Missionaries would 
have wives and property, I wished to ascertain 
whether Malietoa would be able to protect them. 
With an expression of surprise, and appearing 
somewhat hurt, he inquired, " Why do you ask 
that question? have 1 not fulfilled my promises? 
I assured' you that I would terminate the war as 
soon. as possible ; this I did, and there has been 
no war since. I gave you my word that I would 
assist in erecting a chapel ; it is finished. I told 
you I would place myself under instruction, and 
I have done so. Twenty moons ago you com- 
mitted your people, with their wives and chil- 
dren, and property, to my care ; now inquire 
if, in any case, they have suffered injury. And 
do you ask me whether I will protect English 
Missionaries, the very persons we are so anxious 
to have ? Why do you propose such a question 1 ?" 
Feeling at once that I had committed myself, I 
instantly replied, "You cannot suppose that I 
ask for my own conviction : the faithful perform- 
ance of your promises is perfectly satisfactory to 
my own mind ; but you know that the English 
are a very wise people, and one of their first 
questions, in reply to my application for Mis- 
sionaries, will be, ' Who is Malietoa ? and what 
guarantee have you for the safety of our people?' 
And I wish to carry home your words, which will 
be far more satisfactory than my own." " Oh !" 
he exclaimed, " that is what you wish, is it?" and 
significantly moving his hand from his mouth to- 
wards me, he said, " Here they are, take them ; 
here they are, take them ; go, and procure for us 
as many Missionaries as you can, and tell them 
to come with confidence ; for, if they bring pro- 
perty enough to reach from the top of yonder high 
mountain down to the sea-beacb, and leave it 
exposed from one year's end to another, not 
a particle of it shall be touched." The chief 
then requested me to state what was esteemed 
sa, or bad, according to the principles of the 
Christian religion, promising to abandon every 
practice which the word of God condemned. In 
reply I informed him that there were very many 
things, the evil of which they would see as soon 
as they were a little more enlightened ; and that 
therefore our first object was to supply them 
with knowledge. Still there were some prac- 
tices, the sinfulness of which I thought they 
could not but perceive, although deficient in 
Christian knowledge. I then referred to war, 
revenge, adultery, theft, lying, cheating, their 
obscene dances, and many of their pastimes, 



and concluded by exhorting them to be constant 
in their attendance upon the teachers, who could 
give them information upon all these topics, 
having been under the instruction of myself and 
my brother Missionaries for many years. Just 
before the meeting dispersed, Malietoa stated to 
the people that they might, in future, place con- 
fidence in the teachers, because my statements 
and theirs were in perfect accordance. He 
then requested me to bring the ship into the 
harbour, and not to be in haste to leave them, 
as their love would not soon abate. I was sorry, 
however, to find that the harbour was too shal- 
low and full of rocks to allow us to anchor in it 
To facilitate my intercourse with the na- 
tives, I embraced the first opportunity of ob- 
taining from the teachers a history of their pro- 
ceedings during their residence at the Samoas. 
The whole of this was so interesting, that it is 
with regret I omit any part of it ; but for want 
of space I can only present the reader with a 
few of the most striking particulars. Among 
these, I may notice the reception of the Gospel 
by Malietoa and his family. Prior to the con- 
clusion of the war he sent one of his sons to as- 
sist the teachers in erecting the chapel. This 
they completed a short time before the termi- 
nation of the disastrous conflict. On Malietoa's 
return,' the day was fixed for opening it ; but 
just before that he called his family together, 
most of whom had reached manhood, and stated 
that he was about to fulfil his promise to me, 
and become a worshipper of Jehovah. With 
one accord they replied, that, if it was good for 
him, it was equally so for them, and that they 
would follow his example. But to this he ob- 
jected, and declared that if they did so he should 
adhere to the old system. " Do you not know," 
he said, " that the gods will be enraged with me 
for abandoning them, and endeavour to destroy 
me 1 and perhaps Jehovah may not have power 
to protect me against the effects of their anger ! 
My proposition, therefore, is, that I should try 
the experiment of becoming his worshipper; 
and then, if he can protect me, you may with 
safety follow my example ; but if not, I only 
shall fall a victim to their vengeance you will 
be safe." The young men manifested great 
reluctance to comply with this request, and 
wished to know how long a time he required 
to make this singular experiment. He informed 
them that he desired a month or six weeks ; and, 
after some debate, they unwillingly acquiesced 
in his proposition. It was, however, a time of 
general and intense excitement, and messengers 
were frequently despatched to different parts of 
the island, to announce the triumph of Jeho- 
vah's power. At the expiration of the third 
week, however, the patience of the young men 
was exhausted, and, going to their father, they 
stated that he had tried his experiment suffi- 
ciently long, that no evil had befallen him, and 
that therefore they would immediately follow 
his example. He gave his consent ; when not 
only his relatives, but nearly all his people, 
abandoned their heathen worship. This ap- 
peared to me a most singular and interesting 
incident. In the first place, it evinced a noble 
No. 8. 

disinterestedness and great magnanimity in 
Malietoa ; and also showed us that the watch- 
ful eye of God was open to all such events, and 
that he governed them for the furtherance of 
his purposes of mercy. Had any indisposition 
befallen this chieftain during the time he was 
thus " trying his experiments upon Jehovah's 
power," an effectual barrier might have been 
raised against the progress of the Gospel among 
that people ; and, if Malietoa had died, our 
teachers would very probably have fallen vic- 
tims to the fury of the heathen. 

A day was immediately appointed on which 
the young men should publicly renounce their 
heathenism ; and, as the people generally have 
no idols to destroy, they adopted rather a singu- 
lar ceremony in the abandonment of their 
former system. In order to render this intelli- 
gible, I must inform the reader that every chief 
of note has his etu. This was some species of 
bird, fish, or reptile, in which the spirit of the 
god was supposed to reside ; and, on this occa- 
sion, one of the class was cooked and eaten, by 
which act, in the estimation of the natives, the 
etu was so thoroughly desecrated that it could 
never again be regarded as an object of reli- 
gious veneration. The first chief who embraced 
the Gospel was a person whom the teachers met 
when they visited Malietoa at the seat of war. 
This individual, having been impressed with 
their conversation, returned to his district, and 
heldafaita-linffa, or consultation with hispeople. 
The result of this was a request that the teachers 
would come and be present at the ceremony of 
renouncing his heathen worship. On their 
arrival they found a large concourse of people, 
and, after the usual salutations, the chief in- 
quired if they had brought with them a fish- 
spear. They asked why he wanted that ; when 
he replied that his etu was an eel, and that 
he wished one to be caught, that he might 
eat it, in order to convince all of his sincerity. 
An eel was therefore caught, and, being cooked, 
was eaten by many who had formerly regarded 
it as their etu. The teachers then wrote the 
names of these in a book kept for that purpose, 
delivered an address, and engaged in prayer. 
This, I presume, gave rise to the custom, which, 
since then, has been adopted by all who wished 
to embrace Christianity. The etu of Malietoa's 
sons was a fish called anae ; and on the day ap- 
pointed a large party of friends and relatives 
were invited to partake of the feast. A number 
of anae having been dressed, and laid upon 
newly-plucked leaves, the party seated them- 
selves around them, while one of the teachers 
implored a blessing. A portion of the etu was 
then placed before each individual, and with 
trembling hearts they proceeded to devour the 
sacred morsel. The superstitious fears of the 
young men were so powerfully excited, lest the 
etu should gnaw their vitals, and cause death, 
that they immediately retired from the feast, 
and drank a large dose of cocoa-nut oil and salt 
water, which was certainly a most effectual 
method of preventing such an evil. The favour- 
able tesult of tnese experiments of the chief and 
his sons decided the people of the settlement tu 



place themselves at once under the instruction 
of the teachers. Like the ancient Miletans, 
they expected that the daring innovators would 
have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly; 
but, seeingno harm come to them, they changed 
their minds, and said that Jehovah was the true 

Subsequently to this a large meeting was con- 
vened, to consult respecting the destruction of 
Papo, which was nothing more than a piece of 
old rotten matting, about three yards long, and 
four inches in width ; but, as this was the god 
of war, and always attached to the canoe of 
their leader when they went forth to battle, it 
was regarded with great veneration. At the 
meeting in question, one person had the temerity 
to propose that it should be thrown into a fire. 
This, however, excited a burst of disapproba- 
tion ; and it was ultimately agreed, that, as 
drowning was a less horrible death than burning, 
this should be his fate. For this purpose a new 
canoe was launched, several chiefs of note were 
selected, among whom was Fauea, the chief we 
brought from Tongatabu ; and then, with great 
ceremony, a stone was tied to Papo, and he 
was placed on the canoe, to be consigned to a 
watery grave. The teachers heard of this just 
after the chiefs had left the shore, and imme- 
diately paddled off in another canoe, and suc- 
ceeded in overtaking the chiefs before Papo was 
committed to the deep. They then requested 
Fauea to give it to them, that they might re- 
serve it until I arrived, when they would pre- 
sent it to me ; and to this they agreed. On 
reaching the island I came into possession of 
this relic, and have placed it in the Missionary 

The report of Papo's being drowned produced 
a very general excitement, and, from that period 
to the time of my arrival, applications from 
Manono, Upolu, and all parts of Savaii, for 
a visit from the teachers, had been incessant. 
From some places, one or more intelligent in- 
dividuals came and resided for a week or two 
with the Missionaries, and carried from them 
to their waiting countrymen the little informa- 
tion which they had obtained, and, when that 
was exhausted, would return for a fresh supply. 
One part of the conduct of the teachers ap- 
peared to me worthy of special commendation. 
They had invariably refused to hold their reli- 
gious services in the large public buildings, 
assigning, as a reason, the disgusting and in- 
famous character of the dances and amusements 
conducted there. War had been often rumoured, 
and several times it was on the eve of breaking 
out. On one of these occasions, the heathen, 
exasperated at Tangaloa for inviting a teacher 
to reside at his settlement, threatened to attack 
him if he was not sent away. As Tangaloa re- 
fused to do this they prepared for battle ; but, 
as soon as they saw that Malietoa had come 
with a large party of his followers to the assist- 
ance of his friend, they were intimidated and 
withdrew. On another occasion, some of the 
people of Manono threatened to put Malietoa 
to death. He had gone over there to visit some 
friends, when the chief who retained Tama- 

fainga's head proposed to unite with him in ex- 
acting a general tribute for it. To this, how- 
ever, Malietoa objected, saying that he was a 
worshipper of Jehovah, and that, with his con- 
sent, no tribute should be paid to the head of 
Tamafainga, nor a successor appointed. This 
exasperated the interested party so much, that 
they agreed to assassinate him. He heard of 
this, and, after spending a few days with Mate- 
tau, returned home. The party expected to be 
assailed immediately, and therefore sent their 
women, children, and property to their fortress, 
put themselves in an attitude of defence, and 
waited anxiously during several weeks for the 
anticipated attack. This, however, Malietoa 
had no intention of making; but, had he not 
embraced the Christian religion, nothing could 
have prevented him from avenging the insult ; 
for the individual who proposed to kill him had, 
a few years before, put Malietoa's favourite 
daughter to death in a most barbarous manner. He 
happened to take her in war, and, being a fine 
young person, and the daughter of a great chief, 
he wished her to become his wife ; but to this 
she would not consent, and it was also opposed 
by his own people, who said that it was a base 
thing in him to take by force the daughter of so 
great a chieftain. Upon this he seized his club, 
and, declaring that, if he did not have her, no 
one else should, he struck her upon the head, 
and killed her on the spot. Malietau had not 
forgotten this, and his sons urged him to embrace 
the present opportunity of avenging the death 
of their sister ; but he replied that, having em- 
braced the lotu, which was a religion of peace, 
he was determined, if possible, to live and die 
under its influence. 

The teachers informed me that they experi- 
enced much anxiety during the existence of 
these "rumours of wars," but that for two 
months they had enjoyed tranquillity, and that 
my expected arrival, together with the " new re- 
ligion," had engrossed the attention of the people. 

The remaining part of the day was spent in 
conversing with the teachers upon various im- 
portant topics. One subject considered was, 
the propriety of removing some of the Mission- 
aries to other parts of the island, or to Upolu ; 
and, after much consultation, we determined 
that they had better remain together at present, 
and itinerate as much as practicable ; but, as 
there was so much danger in sailing among the 
islands in the Samoa canoes, it was resolved 
that they should immediately build a large boat, 
which they could accomplish with ease, as Te- 
ava had brought with him a pair of smith's 
bellows, and as I could furnish them with iron 
and a saw. They completed their task in a few 
weeks ; and the boat has proved invaluable in 
the prosecution of their labours. As it was our 
invariable practice to impart all the mechanical 
knowledge we could to our native Missionaries, 
before we took them to their stations, they ex- 
perienced no difficulty in effecting this important 
object. A second topic was the erection of a 
good substantial chapel, as a model for all the 
other settlements. I gave a decided preference 
to the Samoa buildings, as more substantial, and 



better adapted for places of worship, than the 
Tahitian : the latter being long and narrow, the 
former nearly round. Beside this, the natives 
knew how to" build their own houses, but not 
such as the Tahitian, the erection of which the 
teachers would be required not only to superin- 
tend, but in a great measure to complete with 
their own hands. I also recommended them to 
plaster it, to fix doors and Venetian windows, 
and to cover the floor with good mats, in order 
to impress the natives with the importance of 
the object to which it was set apart. Another 
very important point considered was, the extent 
to which the teachers should advise the chiefs 
who became Christians to interfere with the 
amusements of the people. I gave it as my 
opinion that they ought to prohibit all the ex- 
hibitions and amusements which were infamous 
and obscene ; but that their sham fights, fencing 
matches, exercise in darting the spear, pigeon- 
catching, and other pastimes which were not 
immoral, had better be tolerated ; persuaded 
that, when the Christian religion was embraced 
from a conviction of its spiritual nature and ex- 
cellence, those of them that were improper would 
soon fall into disuse. 

In the afternoon I was honoured with the 
company of his majesty's five wives. Three of 
these were about forty-five years of age, the 
others were much younger. By my invitation 
they seated themselves upon the ground, and, 
after asking a blessing, they ate heartily and 
cheerfully what was placed before them. In 
the course of conversation, I found that a species 
of serpent abounded in the Samoa Islands ; 
and, having expressed a wish to take a specimen 
with me to the Society islanders, who had never 
seen one, the ladies immediately ran out of the 
house, and returned about half an hour after- 
wards, each having a live snake twined about 
her neck. The manners of these females were 
pleasing ; and, while I gazed upon their good- 
natured countenances, and listened to their 
cheerful conversation, I could not but rejoice in 
the hope, that the period had arrived when 
they would be raised from the state of barbarous 
vassalage into which sin and superstition had 
sunk them. During the evening, while con- 
versing with the king and other persons of dis- 
tinction, I made some allusion to the dreadful 
hurricane at Rarotonga, and found that, at the 
Samoa Islands, it had raged with great fury, 
accompanied by a violent shock of an earth- 
quake ; four of which, the teachers informed 
me, had been experienced within the seventeen 
months they had resided there. They also told 
me that, during these shocks, the natives rushed 
from their houses, threw themselves upon the 
ground, gnawed the grass, tore up the earth, 
and vociferated, in the most frantic manner, to 
Mafuie to desist, lest he should shake the earth 
to pieces. Some said that- the devolowas angry 
with them for allowing the lotu to be received 
at their islands, and begged the teachers to hide 
their Bibles until his rage had ceased. On 
asking their opinion of this phenomenon, they 
informed me that Tiitii ataranga supported the 
island of Savaii with his left hand, and that, had 

it been his right, long ago he would have shaken 
it to pieces ; but that, in a quarrel with Mafuie, 
the latter broke his left arm, which rendered it 
feeble, and which accounts for the universal 
weakness of that arm in men. Thus ignorant 
are the heathen of the works as well as the word 
of God! 


Visit to Amoa >A beautiful Settlement A Company of 
Female Christians Their Appearance The Chapel 
erected by themselves Visit to Malava Disagreement 
between "Matetau and Malietoa An intelligent young 
Chief Sail for Manuno Curious Incidents on board 
Reconciliation effected between the Chiefs, 

The following morning we left Sapapalii for 
Amoa, a station about eight miles distant, at 
which the inhabitants had built a chapel, and 
were all receiving Christian instruction. In 
going thither we passed through a settlement 
called Safatulafai, which is one of the most 
beautiful in the group, and which astonished 
and delighted me. We could more easily have 
imagined ourselves in an English park than in a 
heathen village. A broad road of hard sand 
ran through it; a spacious building for their 
public business and amusements occupied the 
centre ; and, at various distances, there were 
lawns of beautiful greensward, which were ap- 
propriated to club fights, fencing, wrestling, and 
boxing matches. The pathway was over- 
shadowed by the wide-spreading branches of the 
tamanue, and other gigantic trees, while the 
neat houses of the inhabitants were partially 
concealed by the foliage of the bread-fruit trees 
and bananas, among which they were em- 
bowered. The settlement was kept in excellent 
order, and had an air of respectability which 
could not have been looked for among a people 
in other respects so barbarous. Before we 
reached Amoa we passed through two or three 
other settlements, which, although large, were 
inferior to Safatulafai. But what rendered 
these most interesting was, that in one of them 
a chapel was finished, and in a second the in- 
habitants were preparing to erect another. 
After spending a short time with the chiefs, and 
addressing to them a few words of encourage- 
ment, we proceeded on our journey, and reached 
Amoa, which we found to be an extensive set- 
tlement, but inferior in beauty to that through 
which we had passed. It was governed, as is fre- 
quently the case, by two chiefs of nearly equal 
rank. These were active young men, and very 
zealous in the cause they had espoused ; and we 
were gratified to learn that their example had 
been followed by all the inhabitants. After 
receiving the cordial welcome of chiefs and 
people, we went to the chapel, and found 
it rather a rough edifice, capable of accom- 
modating about four hundred persons. A 
meeting was then held in the spacious public 
building, which answered all the purposes of 
town-halls in England. After several large 
baked pigs had been presented to us, the chiefs 
stated that they felt greatly honoured by our 
presence, and that, had I not sent to apprize 




them of my visit, they should have hastened to 

After my reply, they asked a variety of ques- 
tions, similar to those proposed at the meeting 
with Malietoa: and just as this conversation 
terminated, our attention was arrested by the 
approach of about seventy females, bringing gifts, 
and following each other in goose-like proces- 
sion. These were preceded by four men, each 
of whom was bearing upon his shoulders a 
baked pig. On entering the house, the men 
approached Makea and myself, and deposited 
their burdens at our feet. Each of the women 
then laid down her present, and these were so 
numerous, that, gigantic as my friend Makea 
was, he and myself were speedily concealed by 
the cocoa-nuts, bread-fruit, and yams, which 
were heaped up before us. On removing a 
portion from the top of the pile, that we might 
catch a glimpse of our friends on the other side, 
we perceived that the principal woman and her 
daughter had seated themselves by the two 
chiefs, one of whom she requested to be her 
spokesman. Through him she stated, that they 
had heard of my intention to come to Amoa ; 
but as the Christians of her settlement were only 
females, they could not expect to receive a visit 
from so great a chief as myself, and had there- 
fore come to pay their respects to one from 
whom they had received the word of Jehovah. 
She then expressed her regret that their offering 
was so small, and accounted for it by saying, 
that none of their husbands had yet become 
" sons of the word ;" but still she hoped that I 
would accept it, as an expression of gratitude 
for my having brought to them the knowledge 
of salvation. This was a novel and interesting 
event, and before replying to her address, I 
asked the teachers what they knew about her 
and her female friends. " Oh," said they, " we 
know hev well, her settlement is five miles 
away, and some time ago she came and resided 
with us a month, during which she was exceed- 
ingly diligent in her attendance on our instruc- 
tions. She then returned, collected all the 
women of her district, and so interested them 
by her statements, that very many have been in- 
duced to follow her example, and renounce 
their heathen worship. From that time to the 
present," they added, " she has been constant in 
her periodical visits ; for as soon as her little 
stock of knowledge is expended, she returns, 
and stays with us a few days to obtain more, 
which she treasures up, and carefully carries 
back to herwaiting companions." The teachers 
also told us that she had built a place of wor- 
ship, in which, when neither of them could 
attend, this female chief conducted Divine ser- 
vice. After listening to this intelligence with 
surprise and delight, I expressed to her the gra- 
tification I had derived from the interview, and 
exhorted them all to be particularly circumspect 
in their conduct, " that by their chaste conver- 
sation they might win their husbands" to Christ. 
Having returned as handsome a present as I 
could make, our interview closed. The whole 
of the party presented a singular appearance ; 
for although they had decorated themselves in 

the very best style, and looked exceedingly 
handsome, in the estimation of themselves and 
their countrymen, we hoped that their ideas 
upon this subject would soon be improved. The 
principal personage was tall and well propor- 
tioned. Her dress consisted of a shaggy mat, 
dyed red, bound round her loins, which did not 
reach below her knees. The upper part of her 
person was uncovered, and anointed rather 
freely with sweet-scented oil, slightly tinged 
with turmeric rouge. Rows of large blue beads 
decorated her neck, and formed bracelets for 
her arms. Her head was shorn very bare, with 
the exception of a single tuft about the size of a 
crown-piece over the left temple. From this 
hung a little lock of hair, about six inches in 
length, which dangled carelessly about her 
cheek. Several of the party were the unmarried 
daughters of chiefs. The costume of these 
differed from that worn by the married women. 
While both parties appeared equally proud of 
their blue bead necklaces and bracelets, which 
they valued as highly as English ladies do their 
diamonds and pearls, the unmarried females 
wore a white instead of a red mat, had dispensed 
with the oil and turmeric, and retained a rich 
profusion of graceful curls on one side of their 
head, the other being shorn quite bare. Those 
of inferior rank contented themselves with a 
wreath of flowers, a little rouge and oil, a blue 
bead or two about the neck, and a girdle of 
fresh-gathered leaves. Their whole deportment 
was consistent with modesty and propriety. 

My time, during our stay at Savaii, was fully 
occupied in paying visits similar to the above ; 
but my limits forbid me to give an account of 
them. I must therefore content myself with 
presenting but one more specimen of my en- 
gagements at this place. This was a visit to 
Malava, a settlement about eight miles from 
Sapapalii. During our journey we passed 
through one of the mm devolo, devil's villages. 
I thought, when I first heard the expression, 
that it was an opprobrious term ; but upon 
inquiry, I found that it was not so understood 
by the natives ; for, on asking a man who had 
not joined the Christian party, whether he was 
a " son of the word," he replied, " No, I am a 
man of the devil." This, with other circumstan- 
ces, convinced me that the term was used simply 
for the sake of distinction, and not of reproach. 
In passing through this village, I observed, 
under the eaves of most of the houses, small 
pieces of white cloth, which were designed to 
intimate that a sacred ceremony was then being 
observed within, and that no person must enter 
the house upon pain of death. 

On reaching Malava, we were conducted to 
the " government house '." and here we were 
met by the chief, who, after shaking hands with 
us, instead of rubbing noses, withdrew. He 
was rather tall, about the middle age, and of 
sedate appearance. As he wore a white shirt, 
a finely wrought mat as a substitute for 
trousers, and a hat, he presented a more civi- 
lised appearance than most of his brethren. 
During his short absence, I learned from the 
teachers that he was one of the few who appeared 



to be actuated by principle, and that in main- 
taining his profession he had evinced undaunted 
courage. After about a quarter of an hour's 
absence, he returned, accompanied by about a 
hundred men and women, the former carrying 
pigs and vegetables, and the latter pieces of 
cloth; and, having seated himself, he said, " I 
feel highly honoured by a visit from so great a 
chief, a chief of religion. I am now a worshipper 
of Jehovah, my heart and thoughts are in love 
with the good word, and my sincere desire is, 
that speedily it may spread through the land, and 
that not a Faka-Devolo, a devil's man, may re- 
main." He then begged my acceptance of the 
food, which had been prepared in expectation 
of my coming ; when I expressed my thanks, 
and the gratification with which I had heard his 
sentiments ; adding, as I did not come there to 
obtain property, of which we had plenty at 
home, I would only accept of a little of the 
food, and three or four pieces of the cloth, for 
the purpose of showing their friends in England 
what clothing they wore, but the rest he must 
allow me to return. To this, however, he would 
not listen. I therefore sent the food on board 
the vessel, and presented the cloth to Makea. 
Before the meeting terminated, the chief and 
people of another settlement, about three miles 
distant, came to beg for a Missionary ; and two 
messengers from a large settlement, about six 
miles further, on the same errand, and also to 
solicit the honour of a visit. But although the 
spirit was both willing and delighted, yet the 
flesh was too weak to allow me to gratify them. 
After this, we held an interesting religious ser- 
vice in their chapel, which was the largest and 
best I had seen, with the exception of that at 
Sapapalii, and would accommodate nearly five 
hundred persons. This concluded, we returned 
home, about ten o'clock at night, almost insen- 
sible to fatigue, from the pleasure we had en- 
joyed in the engagements of the day. Malava 
was so important a station that the Missionaries 
had consented to allow one of their number to 
reside at it ; and as Boki had been instrumental 
in the conversion of that people, he was selected 
for the purpose. 

On reaching home, my attention was called 
to a circumstance which occasioned me a little 
perplexity. For some months past, a serious 
disagreement had existed between Malietoa and 
Matetau of Monono ; and the teachers were 
very anxious that they should be reconciled 
before I left. In order to effect this, I had 
despatched the vessel to fetch Matetau, sup- 
posing that he would esteem it an honour to have 
an English ship sent for him ; but, unfortunately, 
he refused to come. Upon hearing this, Malie- 
toa's indignation was aroused, and being con- 
vinced that the continued hostility of these 
powerful chiefs would endanger the peace of the 
islands, I determined, if possible, to effect a re- 
conciliation ; and with this view, proposed to 
Malietoa that he and his brother Tuiano, with 
two or three of the teachers, should accompany 
me to Manono, whither I intended to convey 
Te-ava, Matetau's Missionary. To this he at 
first strongly objected ; but, after describing the 

spirit of Christianity, as contrasted with that of 
heathenism, and stating that it was honourable 
in us and pleasing to God to be the first to seek 
reconciliation, he instantly said, " Then I'll go, 
we'll go to morrow." 

This important point being settled, I prepared 
to retire to rest ; but although it was past mid- 
night, and I was excessively fatigued, I was 
kept from reclining upon my welcome mat, by 
the conversation of one of the most interesting 
and intelligent young chiefs with whom I had 
yet had intercourse. His name was Riromai- 
ava. He was nearly related to Malietoa, and 
esteemed by the old chieftain so highly that he 
consulted him upon every subject of import- 
ance. He had just then returned from a jour- 
ney, and was impatiently waiting my arrival. 

On entering the house, to my surprise, he 
saluted me in English, with " How do you do, 
Sir V I instantly replied, "Very well, I thank 
you, Sir; how do you do I" " Oh," he answered, 
" me very well : me very glad to see you ; me 
no see you long time ago ; me away in the bush 
making fight ; oh ! plenty of the fight, too much 
of the fight ! Me hear that white chief bring 
the good word of Jehovah, me want plenty to 
see you ; me heart say, ' How do you do V, me 
heart cry to see you." He further told me that 
he had become a Christian, and added, that his 
sincere desire was to know and love the word of 
God. Upon inquiring whether he had learned 
to read, he replied, that he had been trying for 
several months, but that his " heart was too 
much fool," and that he had not yet succeeded. 
I encouraged him to persevere, and told him 
that the knowledge of reading was so valuable 
that no labour could be too great in order to its 
acquisition. He assured me that he would per- 
severe, and never be tired until he had mastered 
it. After this he asked me a variety of questions 
about England, the usages of civilised society, 
the principles of Christianity, and numerous 
other topics, which convinced me that he was 
worthy of the esteem in which he was held, and 
of the reputation he had obtained. Perceiving 
that I was overcome with fatigue, he retired, 
after requesting me to take a meal at his house 
in the morning, before I sailed for Manono ; 
and being so much interested with his intelli- 
gent conversation, I accepted his invitation. In 
the course of the morning he gave me a fearful 
account of the cruelties practised in the late 
war; and, having stated that very many of the 
women, children, and infirm people were burned, 
he exclaimed, in a pathetic manner, " Oh, my 
countrymen, the Samoaman too much fool, 
plenty wicked ; you don't know. Samoa great 
fool, he kills the man, he fights the tree. 
Bread-fruit tree, cocoa-nut tree, no fight us. 
Oh ! the Samoa too much fool, too much 
wicked." He then inquired very affectionately 
after Mrs. "Williams and my family ; and being 
informed that I had two sons, called John and 
Samuel, and that the age of the latter was about 
that of his own little boy, he begged that he 
might be allowed to give him that name : to 
which I consented. He further entreated me to 
fetch Mrs. Williams, and reside at Samoa, as he 



greatly desired to be poto (very wise), and had 
never till then met with one who could give him 
all the knowledge he desired. In reference to 
Mrs. Williams and the children, he asked me if 
" Williams woman and Williams boy " did not 
grieve very much at my being so very far away 
from them for so many months upon the sea % 
" Yes," I replied, " but Mrs. Williams is as 
anxious as myself that the poor heathen should 
know about Jesus Christ and salvation, and 
therefore willingly makes the sacrifice." With 
tears in his eyes, he then exclaimed, "We 
plenty sorry for them ; they must have plenty 
of cry for you all these moons." After ex- 
changing presents, I took my leave of this intel- 
ligent young chief, promising to give him as 
much of my company as my numerous engage- 
ments would afford. He told me that his patri- 
monial estate was at Upolu ; that it was a most 
beautiful settlement ; but that, having been 
beaten in a late war, he was obliged to take 
refuge with his relative, Malietoa. He ex- 
pected, however, soon to be reinstated in his 
possessions, and hoped he should then be able 
to obtain a wise Missionary to instruct him.* 

On the following day we embarked for Ma- 
nono, accompanied by Malietoa, Tuiano, several 
other chiefs, and two of the teachers. The 
natives evinced much feeling at our departure ; 
and having seated themselves by the side of the 
path which led to the place of embarkation, they 
arose as I passed, kissed rny hand, and entreated 
me to return as speedily as possible, to tell 
them more about Jehovah and Jesus Christ. A 
foul wind prevented our reaching Manono 
before the next day, and this afforded me an 
opportunity of discovering that Malietoa still 
retained many of his heathen usages ; for al- 
though it rained heavily during the night, he 
would not descend from the deck, which his 
friends accounted for on the ground that his 
presence rendered a place sacred. In addition 
to this, we learned that no female must touch 
food that had been brought near to him. 
Upon remonstrating with the natives on the 
folly of these practices, they assured me that 
there was nothing superstitious in them, or 
connected with the worship of the gods, but 
that they were simply ceremonies of respect 
which were shown to the principal chiefs. 

They were curious in examining the different 
parts of the ship. My bed-cabin, with he 
bedding, pleased two of the ladies so much ihat 
they were anxious to occupy it ; but not wishing 
it to be soiled with their oily skins, I directed 
them to the lockers, as a comfortable sleeping- 
place. "True," they replied, "but these are 
not so soft and pretty as yours ;" and they went 
and patted the pillows, and put them to their 
cheeks, saying, " Lelni malu," good, soft." 
However, they appeared to sleep very soundly 
on the lockers, except when the ship tacked, 
and they were rolled off upon the cabin floor. 

On reaching Manono I hastened on shore, 
and succeeded in inducing Matetau to accom- 

The chief had acquired his knowledge of English 
from a sailor who had been left at the islands sick, and 
who was a very decent, well-behaved man. 

pany me to the vessel. After introducing him 
to Malietoa, Instated that my object in bringing 
them together was to effect a reconciliation, 
and establish a friendship between them ; for 
as they were most influential chiefs, and as 
teachers had been placed with them both, their 
disagreement would be most disastrous to the 
cause of religion. I then proposed to leave 
them for a short time to themselves, and hoped 
they would be able to accomplish the much 
desired object. In about an hour they came 
to me and said, " We two have now but one 
heart," and that in future they would unite 
their influence to prevent war, and extend re- 
ligion. I then gave the teacher and his wife 
in special charge to Matetau, who ordered his 
property to be carefully placed in his own canoe ; 
and when we had knelt upon the deck, and com- 
mended them to God in prayer, they disparted 
for the shore. 

I was truly thankful thus to have been ena- 
bled to reconcile these two powerful chiefs, and 
to commence a mission upon this important little 
island under circumstances so favourable. On 
the Monday week I again visited Manono ; but 
being too unwell to land, I sent to inquire after 
the welfare of Te-ava, who addressed to me the 
note of which the following is a translation : 

Manono, November 5th, 1832. 
Dear Friend, 

I like this place very well : the chief 
is very kind, and the people supply me with 
plenty of food. We held our services yesterday 
in the largest house in the settlement, which 
was quite full. The chief, with many of the 
people, have made a public profession of Chris- 
tianity. This morning we met to teach the 
alphabet, when the house was again filled, and 
the people were all anxious to be taught. We 
are happy and comfortable. May the Lord 
protect you while sailing on the sea ! We think 
very much about Mr. and Mrs. Buzacott. 
Blessing on you, through Jesus. 


After landing Malietoa and his party at the 
Missionary station, I proceeded to different parts 
of the islands of Savaii and Upolu, in search 
of a harbour where to anchor, refit, and procure 
water for our return voyage. This occupied five 
or six days ; and wherever we went we found 
the people anxious to be instructed. Indeed, the 
applications to visit different settlements were 
so numerous that I could have advantageously 
spent six months there instead of one. Every 
where they urged their claim by saying, " Our 
chapel is finished, and all we want is a Mis- 
sionary." At length, by the guidance of the 
natives, we found a very commodious harbour, 
and they informed me of two others. Thus, in 
one island we discovered three harbours, al- 
though it had been reported by La Perouse, 
Kotzebue, and others, that there was no safe 
anchorage in the whole group. 

On arriving off the harbour at Apia I went 
in with the boat to examine it ; and on finding 
it spacious, convenient, and safe, we made a 
signal to the vessel to stand in, which she did, 



and dropped anchor in about six fathoms of 
water. The Messenger of Peace was very soon 
crowded to excess by natives ; but as Malietoa 
sent his Tuulaafale, or orator, with me, silence 
was commanded, when, with great parade, he 
declared who I was and what I wanted. He 
then announced that Malietoa had given me his 
name, and that the respect due to him must be 
shown to me. 

Having made arrangements for procuring a 
supply of water, I went on shore, and was 
conducted to the house of Punipuniolu, the 
principal chief. After exchanging salutations, 
he made numerous inquiries respecting my- 
self, and then asked my opinion of the harbour. 
Having told him, in reply, that it was one of 
the best I had seen, he requested me to com- 
municate this to captains of ships, as he greatly 
desired to be visited by them. To this I re- 
plied that I had no objection ; but as the cap- 
tains would immediately inquire whether the 
chief was a Christian, I should be compelled to 
inform them that he was not so. " Oh, no," 
he exclaimed, " you must not tell them that, for 
I had resolved, before your "arrival, to follow 
Malietoa's example ; and if you will wait until 
to-morrow morning, by which time I shall have 
conferred with my people, you can come on 
shore, and make me a Christian." Accordingly, 
on the following morning, I met the chief, and 
about a hundred and fifty other persons. On 
entering his house I was saluted with the great- 
est respect, by the name of Malietoa, and ad- 
dressed in the language used to chiefs of the 
highest rank. As soon as I was seated, Puni- 
puniolu said, " I have resolved to renounce the 
religion of my forefathers, and wish you to make 
me a Christian." I informed him that nothing 
but a change of heart could make him a Chris- 
tian, and that this was the work of God ; but, 
at the same time, I should rejoice to receive his 
public declaration in favour of Christianity, to 
write his name in a book, and to offer up to 
Jehovah my sincere prayers on his behalf. The 
chief then requested that those who wished to 
follow his example would remain in the house 
while I prayed, and that the others would with- 
draw. On hearing this, about twenty retired, 
but they returned at the close of the prayer, when 
the chief thus addressed the assembly : " Let 
none of us speak contemptuously of religion. 
Some of you have preferred remaining in the 
devil's worship. Do not you revile my pro- 
ceedings ; neither will I yours." A short time 
after this, while walking about the settlement 
with the chief, he appeared much dispirited ; 
and on inquiring the cause, he replied, " Oh, I 
am in great perplexity '. I have taken a most 
important step ; I have become a worshipper of 
Jehovah, but I am quite ignorant of the kind of 
worship I must offer, and of the actions which 
are pleasing or displeasing to him, and I have 
no one to teach me." I then gave him all the 
information which circumstances would permit, 
and wrote to request one of the teachers to 
come and reside with him for a short time. 

During the few days I remained on the island 
I took several long walks into the interior of 

the country, of which the following brief speci- 
men must suffice. After proceeding about three 
miles through an almost untrodden forest, 
where stately trees grew in wild luxuriance, we 
reached an open space, which proved to be the 
site of a small village. Here there was an ex- 
tensive grass-plat, interspersed with numerous 
half-grown bread-fruit trees, and surrounded 
by the houses of the natives, with regular inter- 
vals between them. Our appearance startled 
the sequestered inhabitants, for I was probably 
the first European they had ever seen. The 
chief received me with much respect, and or- 
dered mats to be spread upon the grass, and 
refreshments to be brought. I then told him 
my errand, and inquired whether he had em- 
braced Christianity. He replied that he had 
heard of the lotu, and, in common with all his 
countrymen, desired instruction ; but, having 
no teacher, he was very ignorant. Having in- 
formed him that one of the teachers would 
come shortly and reside for a time with Puni- 
puniolu at Apia, he promised to attend his in- 
structions. We returned by a circuitous route, 
and observed that although exceedingly rich, 
very little of the land was under cultivation be- 
yond that in the immediate vicinity of the set- 
tlement. The chief requested me to stay and 
witness the poula langi, or " heavenly dance." 
which he was preparing for our entertainment ; 
but as evening twilight had gathered around 
us, and as we did not suppose that it savoured 
much of heaven, I declined the invitation. 

Having visited several settlements in this 
island, and received numberless applications to 
visit others, we prepared for our departure ; 
and, as we had to pass Manono, I determined 
to call there once more. On reaching it, I was 
delighted to find that three of the teachers were 
spending a few days with their newly-arrived 
brother. They informed me that they had just 
opened two new chapels at Upolu, and that the 
prospects of Te-ava were most encouraging, as 
nearly all the inhabitants of Manono had placed 
themselves under his instruction. After making 
arrangements with them for visiting various 
parts of Upolu, especially Apia, the settlement 
of Punipuniolu, I took leave of them, and thus 
closed my second visit to the Samoa group. 


Runaway Convicts, &c. Tragical Occurrences Retri- 
butive Justice Two Vessels taken at Heathen Islands 
Kindness of English Captains Meet with the Widow 
of Puna Her Narrative Ship springs a Leak 
Danger to which we were exposed Vavau Its Dreari- 
ness Arrival at Tonga Character and Labours of 
the Wesleyan Missionaries Arrival at Rarotonga 
Flourishing state of the Stations and Schools The 
Ingenuity of the Children in procuring Slates and 
Pencils Letter of one of the Children. 

During my second visit to the Navigators' Is- 
lands, many facts were communicated to me, 
some of which T think it necessary to notice. 

The first is, the number of runaway sailors, 
and other Europeans, who reside among the 
people, and do them incalculable mischief. 




Many of these were convicts from New South 
"Wales, who had stolen small vessels, and had 
thus made their escape. The Missionaries in- 
formed me, that, subsequent to their settlement, 
a gang of them came there in a fine schooner, 
which, after stripping off her sails, and every 
article of value, they scuttled and sunk a few 
hundred yards from the shore. 

Some time before this, another gang came, in 
a stolen vessel, to the Society Islands ; and al- 
though treated with the utmost kindness by the 
chief, Mahine, they contrived, after plundering 
his house of all his property, among which was 
a blunderbuss and a small cask of powder, to 
decamp at midnight in Mr. Barff's whale-boat. 
Shortly after they had left the shore, the boat 
was missed, and two others, with native crews, 
were immediately despatched in search of them. 
Unfortunately, one of these fell in with them ; 
when the unsuspicious natives said, " Friends, 
we have come to fetch you back ; you must not 
steal the Missionary's boat and the chief's pro- 
perty." In reply they received the contents of 
a blunderbuss, which blew the head of one of 
them to pieces. Two more were killed by the 
same weapon, and a fourth severely wounded. 
The only other person present was a little boy, 
who jumped into the sea, and hid himself be- 
hind the boat ; when the wretches, supposing 
that they had completed the work of destruc- 
tion, hoisted their sail and departed. The boy 
then climbed into the boat, and, assisted by the 
wounded man, rowed to the shore. On my 
return from one of my voyages, I found several 
of these men at Raiatea. They immediately 
came to me, and represented themselves as 
shipwrecked mariners. In reply to my inquiries, 
they said they were wrecked in 73 degrees 
north, and were only three weeks in reaching 
the Society Islands. I replied immediately, that 
their tale was a foolish fabrication ; that I was 
convinced they were convicts ; and that I should 
write by the first opportunity to inform the 
Governor of their arrival. They left Raiatea 
the day after, or perhaps some of our people 
would have been murdered, as those of Huahine 
were. Subsequently, these ungrateful wretches 
reached the Navigators' Islands, where they en- 
tered, with savage delight, into the wars of 
the natives ; and having fire-arms and powder, 
they made fearful havoc among them. How- 
ever, " vengeance suffered them not to live ;'' 
for the leader of this murderous gang very 
soon fell a victim to his temerity. On one oc- 
casion, seeing a number of the opposite party 
clustered together, he fired his blunderbuss, 
heavily loaded with bullets, and killed nine upon 
the spot, besides wounding others ! The natives 
however, did not give him time to reload his 
murderous weapon, but rushed upon him and 
killed him with their clubs. The chief for 
whom he was fighting entertained so high an 
opinion of his bravery, that he cut off his head, 
and carefully sewed the fractured parts of the 
skull together with fine cinet. He had this in 
his possession when I was there ; and it was 
said that he worshipped it as his etu. A second 
of these wretched men was drowned in endea- 

vouring to make his escape ; a third fell in bat- 
tle shortly afterwards ; but to the monster of 
iniquity, whom the natives put to death before 
my arrival, a longer time had been allowed. Of 
this individual I received the most terrific ac- 
counts. It was stated that he had killed up- 
wards of two hundred persons with his own 
hands ! Being an excellent marksman, no one 
could escape who came within the range of his 
musket. The natives fled as soon as they per- 
ceived him ; and, to avoid detection, with fiend- 
ish ingenuity he smeared himself with charcoal 
and oil. He seldom left the fort of the party 
for whom he was fighting without killing a 
number of the enemy, whose heads were inva- 
riably cut off, and ranged before him during 
his meals. He often seated himself upon a kind 
of stage, smeared with blood, and surrounded 
with the heads of his victims. In this state his 
followers would convey him on their shoulders, 
with songs of savage triumph, to his own resi- 
dence. The party for whom he fought was, how- 
ever, conquered ; and he saved his life by fleeing 
to the mountains, where he lived three months 
upon roots, or whatever else he could obtain. 
At length he came to Manono, and threw him- 
self upon the mercy of the chiefs, who spared 
him, upon the condition that he should never 
again engage in their wars. But a few months 
after this, having received authentic information 
of his secret intrigues with the opposite party, 
the chiefs held a consultation, at which it was 
determined to put him to death. One of their 
number, a powerful young man, was charged 
with this commission; and, selecting a few 
faithful followers, he proceeded, at midnight, to 
the murderer's house, and, by a single blow, 
severed his head from his body. Mr. Stevens, 
surgeon of the unfortunate Oldham whaler, 
which was taken at Wallace Island, was sitting 
by his side at the time. From him I received 
much information. Providentially, this gentle- 
man left the vessel the day before the crew was 
massacred. I conveyed him to Rarotonga and 
Tahiti, where, by his medical skill, he rendered 
essential service to the mission families. 

"When I was at Manono, I found the people 
at one part of the island exceedingly shy, and, 
on landing, the chief sent a message, requesting 
me to come to his residence. He then stated, 
that having ordered an Englishman to be killed, 
he feared that I should be angry and avenge 
his death. After giving me a full account of 
the character and practices of this monster, I 
told him that the King of England would not 
allow his subjects, who conducted themselves 
well, to be injured with impunity in any part 
of the world ; but that as this individual had 
been such a murderer they had nothing to fear, 
for the government of my country would approve 
of their conduct. 

While at the Navigators, I heard of two ves- 
sels having been taken at islands on which the 
people were still heathen. In the one case all 
the crew, and in the other the greater part of 
them, fell victims to the excited feelings of the 
natives. In both instances, however, the Eng- 
lish were the aggressors. In the one, the chief's 



son was threatened with death, and in the other, 
the drunken captain and crew were in the act 
of dragging the chief's wife on board their ship. 
A short time after this disastrous event, a man- 
of-war visited the island, when sixty of the in- 
h-tbitants were killed. Surely if the natives 
are to be so severely punished for avenging 
their injuries, some method ought to be adopted 
to prevent our countrymen from inflicting 

The native Missionaries informed me of an 
interesting visit they had received from Captain 
Swain, of the Elizabeth whaler, who not only 
treated them with much respect, but gave 
them a variety of useful articles. He also 
made valuable presents to the chiefs, and en- 
couraged them to pay great attention to the 
instruction of the teachers. Hearing that I 
was expected soon, he left a letter for me, in 
which, after stating many things in commenda- 
tion of the teachers and people, he informed 
me, that, in addition to his own inclination to 
encourage Missionary labours, he had orders 
from his owner, Mr* Sturges, who belongs, I 
believe, to the Society of Friends, to visit Mis- 
sionary stations for his supplies, and to afford 
Missionaries every assistance in his power. 
Alexander Birnie, Esq., and Son, have done the 
same for many years. To such owners and 
captains we feel our obligations, and desire to 
record their kindness.* 

While at the Navigators, I heard that the 
widow and family of Puna, formerly our native 
Missionary at Rurutu, were residing at Niua- 
tabutabu, or Keppel's Island. I therefore de- 
termined to go and convey them to their homes. 
On reaching the island, I found them in very 
destitute circumstances, and, after having given 
vent to her feelings, the widow supplied me 
with the following most affecting history of her 
sufferings. Her husband, herself, and family, 
with ten natives of Rurutu, and two Americans, 
put to sea in a little decked vessel of their own 
building, for the purpose of returning to Raia- 
tea; but having lost their way, they were driven 
about for nearly six weeks, when they descried 
a large low island, called by the inhabitants 
Manaiki. As the natives appeared friendly, 
one of the Americans and two of the Rurutuans 
went on shore, having promised to hoist a white 
flag if they were treated with kindness. No 
flag, however, was hoisted ; and although they 
sailed about the island for nearly a fortnight, all 
they heard concerning their unfortunate com- 
panions was, that the king had dedicated them 
to the gods ; but whether as sacrifices, or 
whether, from their being the first strangers who 
had ever visited his island, he had simply made 
them sacred, Puna could not ascertain. I think 
it not all improbable that their lives were spared, 
and that they may have been instrumental in 
imparting a knowledge of Christianity to the 
inhabitants. At length the boat was driven by 

I am truly happy to say, that of late years several 
captains have been in the habit of visiting the islands, 
whose arrival both the natives and ourselves hail with 
delight. Among these may be mentioned Captain Mor- 
gan, Captain Emment, Captain Thomas Steven of the 
Tuscan, Captain Lee, and several others. 

a strong wind to another island of the same 
group, called Rakaana, which I should suppose 
from the widow's account to be about twenty- 
rive miles from Manaiki, and to belong to its 
inhabitants, who visited and lived upon the 
produce of each island alternately. Here 
Puna's party landed, and saw houses and canoes, 
but no inhabitants. In the former there were 
many preserved bodies, with flowing black hair, 
which looked as if alive. The natives, the 
widow informed me, were strong and robust, 
and resembled the inhabitants of the Paumotas, 
who are a shade or two darker than those of 
the Society Islands'. The canoes were very 
large, and built entirely of the cocoa-nut tree. 
Of this group I received information from the 
Aitutakians some time previously, as a canoe 
full of people had drifted, fifty or sixty years be- 
fore, from thence to Aitutaki. The cluster is 
said to consist of five islands, four of which are 
named Manaiki, Rakaana, Mautorea, and Pa- 
kara. I suppose them to be about two days' 
sail N.E. of Aitutaki. 

Again putting to sea, Puna and his party were 
driven in various directions for upwards of two 
months, when they reached Keppel's Island, 
lat. 15 56', long. 174 10', 1900 miles from 
Rurutu. Here the people wished to plunder 
them, but were prevented by Maatu, the king. 
They remained at this island four months, 
during which time they kept the Sabbath, and 
observed all their accustomed religious services. 
One person of influence joined them, and was 
desirous that they should reside at his district, 
where he promised to erect a place of worship ; 
but Puna was taken ill, and, not expecting to 
recover, he was exceedingly anxious to be where 
he could enjoy intercourse with a Missionary ; 
and, hearing that some resided at Tongatabu, 
about three hundred miles distant, he again 
launched his little schooner. They were driven, 
however, by foul wind to Niuafou, an island 
about ninety miles west of that from which they 
started, and here poor Puna died the day after 
he landed. He was a laborious and valuable 
teacher. Of his piety I entertain no doubt. He 
and his colleague, however, never agreed, 
which gave rise to serious evils at Rurutu, and 
occasioned me more anxiety than I experienced 
in reference to any of our other stations. He 
committed his wife and family to the chief of 
the island, and spent his dying moments in ex- 
horting him to place himself under Christian 
instruction. The day after his death the natives 
dragged the little vessel on shore, and set her 
on fire for the purpose of obtaining the iron 
with which she was fastened ; and some run- 
away sailors broke open Puna's box, and stole 
his property, but they quarrelled in dividing it, 
when one of them received a blow which ter- 
minated his life. Puna's peaceful death and 
parting exhortations produced so powerful an 
impression upon the chief's mind, that he de- 
termined to embrace a religion which imparted 
such blessedness. But his people were so 
exasperated at his renunciation of idolatry, that 
they entered into a conspiracy, and put him to 



Having taken the widow and family on board, 
we made as direct a course as we could for Ra- 
rotonga, when, after proceeding about three 
hundred miles, a serious disaster befell us. At 
midnight the mate awoke me with the startling 
announcement, " You must get up immediately, 
Sir ; the ship has sprung a leak, is half full of 
water, and is sinking fast." I ran on deck in- 
stantly, and found, to my consternation, nearly 
four feet of water in the hold. I at once perceived 
that no time was to be lost, and that every indi- 
vidual must exert himself to the utmost ; for 
the alternative was pump or sink. We all, 
therefore, set to work forthwith, some with 
buckets and others at the pump ; and in about 
an hour I was relieved from my intense anxiety 
by finding that we had gained six inches. Thus 
encouraged we continued our arduous and 
united efforts until morning, by which time we 
had succeeded in pumping the ship dry. Still, 
however, the water came in so fast, that in a few 
minutes we were compelled to resume our la- 
bours. And now the first thing to which we 
directed our attention was, to put our pumps 
into the best possible repair ; and, as the ship 
might sink in a moment, we also determined to 
get the boats in readiness. This being accom- 
plished, we filled a few bags with biscuits, and 
some bamboos with water, and put them, with 
a number of cocoa-nuts, into a convenient place, 
to prevent confusion in the event of being com- 
pelled to leave the ship. As there were two 

boats, we then divided the crew into two parties, 
and made every arrangement which prudence 
dictated in our distressing circumstances. I 
was truly thankful at being enabled to maintain 
a coolness and tranquillity during the whole of 
this exigency. The greater part of the night 
was spent in an unsuccessful search for the leak; 
and our perplexity was much increased by the 
wind becoming contrary and exceedingly vio- 
lent. Against this we contended for several 
days, pumping the whole time without inter- 
mission. At length we reached Vavau, and, 
hoping to discover our leak, we worked our de- 
vious way for several hours amidst a multitude 
of small islands, in quest of an anchorage, but 
did not find one until sunset. Early the fol- 
lowing morning we commenced a thorough 
search for the leak within and without ; but 
although the natives dived under the keel, and 
swam all round the vessel, no fracture nor de- 
fect could be discovered ; we therefore put to 
sea again,* and, having to contend against a 
contrary wind, we were five days, instead of 
twenty- four hours, in reaching Tonga. Very 
providentially, I found there Captain S. Henry ; 
and, the day after our arrival, Captain Deanes, 
of the Elizabeth, English whaler, came to 
anchor. Aided by these two gentlemen, with 
their crews and the natives, we succeeded in 
heaving down the vessel, and, after a close scru- 
tiny, discovered the cause of our danger in a 
large auger-hole in the keel, into which the bolt 

had never been driven. This had been filled with 
mud and stones in the hurricane at Rarotonga, 
which had kept the vessel from leaking six 
months, during which time she had sailed se- 
veral thousands of miles. A stone was very 
fortunately wedged in the hole, or it would 
have been impossible, in the estimation of the 
captains and carpenter, to have kept the vessel 
from sinking. 

With my short visit to Vavau I was much de- 
lighted, it will be recollected that, on my 
former voyage to the Friendly Islands, I met 


Einau at Lefuga, who not only refused to em- 
brace Christianity himself, but threatened with 
death any of his people who did so. My satis- 
faction, then, may be imagined at finding this 
once despotic, but now docile chieftain, with 
all his people, receiving the instructions of 
Mr. Turner. At the time of my arrival they 
were erecting a large place of worship to accom- 
modate a congregation, which, on the preceding 

We found the water run in much faster when we 
were lying at auchor than when at sea ; indeed the leak 
began when we were in a perfect calm. 




Sabbath, consisted of more than two thousand 
persons. All this had been effected in two 
years. At my former visit to the Hapai Islands 
I found a number of respectable Vavauans there 
in exile, who had forsaken all to enjoy the in- 
structions of Mr. Thomas. There they acquired 
a fitness for future usefulness ; and when, by 
the conversion of Finau, they were permitted to 
revisit their own island, they began at once to 
impart to their countrymen the inestimable 
knowledge they possessed. Thus was the 
wrath of man made to praise God. 

With Mr. and Mrs. Turner I spent a most 
pleasant evening. Their prospects of usefulness 
were very encouraging, and their hearts ap- 
peared to be thoroughly in their work. 

The Vavau group is composed of a great 
number of barren rocks, of compact crystal 
limestone, from thirty to more than a hundred 
feet in height. Many of these are inaccessible 
and uninhabitable to human beings. In some 
of them there are littly sandy coves, where the 
natives, in numbers corresponding with the ex- 
tent of the habitable spot, erect their dwell- 

Vavau appeared a most dreary place. We 
saw nothing, as we worked our winding way, 
but high, precipitous, and weather-beaten rocks, 
which, although bold, were barren. These 
were the undisturbed possessions of innumera- 
ble sea-fowl and vampire bats, whose screams, 
mingling with the hollow roar of the sea, as it 
ingulfed itself in the numerous excavations and 
caves which had been scooped out by the bil- 
lows, were the only sounds which disturbed, 
while they appeared to enhance, the awful still- 
ness of the place. On reaching the Missionary 
settlement, you are agreeably surprised to find 

a beautiful and fertile plain, inhabited by hu- 
man beings, not one of whom appeared until 
we were near the anchorage. 

In my visit to Tongatabu, I was truly de- 
lighted to find that the Missionaries had received 
a printing-press, and that it was most actively 
engaged in preparing the word of life for the 
people. Its invaluable operations were com- 
menced in April, 1831, and by November, 1832, 
twenty-nine thousand one hundred copies of small 
books, containing Jive millions seven hundred 
and seventy -two thousand pages, had been struck 
off. Such facts furnish delightful evidence of 
the untiring diligence of the Missionaries who 
supplied the matter, and of the perseverance of 
Mr. Wood, who had charge of the mighty 
engine. Indeed, if sterling piety and entire 
devoteduess to the cause of God among the 
heathen can insure success, our Wesleyan 
brethren at the Friendly Islands will have a 
distinguished portion. 

After spending a fortnight of most pleasing and 
profitable intercourse at this place, our vessel 
being ready for sea, we sailed for Raratonga, 
which we reached in safety, in January, 1833, 
having been absent fifteen weeks. 

After this I remained several months at Ra- 
rotonga, during which period we completed the 
revision of the translation which I brought to 
England, and of which, I am happy to add, the 
British and Foreign Bible Society has printed 
Five thousand copies. This precious treasure I 
shall have the unspeakable satisfaction of con- 
veying back with me. During this period, also, 
the chapels were rebuilt, Mr. Buzacott's new 
mission premises erected, and the settlements 
put into excellent order. The accompanying 
plate may give the reader an idea of our dwell- 

Mr. Buzagutt's Residence, in imitation of which the Kino's wns built. 



Ths Author's Residence at Raiatea, after the model of winch Mr. Pitman's was built. 

ings. The framework is of wood, and the 
spaces between the posts wattled and plastered 
with lime made from coral. By the exercise of 
a little ingenuity we contrived to render them 
both comfortable and respectable. Mixing red 
ochre with the coral whitewash, we obtained a 
salmon colour for our walls, and by pounding 
the charcoal of soft wood and mixing it with 
lime, we procured a French grey. The graceful 
foliage of the banana, young bread-fruit, and 
cocoa-nut trees, by which they are surrounded, 
invests our premises with an appearance of 
neatness and elegance. It was my determi- 
nation, when I originally left England, to have 
as respectable a dwelling as I could erect ; for 
the Missionary does not go to barbarise himself, 
but to civilise the heathen. He ought not, 
therefore, to sink down to their standard, but to 
elevate them to his. 

In addition to this, I prepared a small ele- 
mentary book, and a catechism in the Samoa 
language, ten thousand copies of which Mr. 
Barff printed before I left the islands. 

The schools were, at this time, in a pleasing 
state of prosperity. In that of Papehia, there 
were about five hundred children, in Mr. Buza- 
cott's seven hundred, and in Mr. Pitman's up- 
wards of nine hundred ; and on the morning of 
our departure, they wrote to me on their slates 
several hundreds of letters, expressive of their 
regret at my leaving them. One of these, 
written by a little boy about nine years of age, I 
desired him to copy upon paper. The following 
is a translation : 

" Servant of God, we are grieving very much 
for you ; our hearts are sore with grieving, be- 
cause you are going to that far distant country 
of yours, and we fear that we shall not see your 
face again. Leave us John to teach us while 

you go, then we may expect to see you again ; 
but if you take John too, we shall give up all 
hope. But why do you go 1 You are not an 
old man and worn out. Stay till you cannot 
work any longer for God, and then go home." 

The progress which these children had made 
in writing was not more gratifying than the in- 
genuity which they had displayed in providing 
themselves with a substitute for slates and pen- 
cils. We taught them to write at first by means 
of sand-boards, but, of course, they could not by 
this mode acquire any great facility in the art. 
They frequently expressed their regret at this, 
and as our supply of slates was very small, they 
determined, if possible, to find a substitute. 
Having formed the resolution, they were ob- 
served one morning, on leaving the school, 
running in groups up the mountains, and shortly 
after returning with flakes of stones, which they 
had broken off from the rocks. These they 
carried to the sea-beach and rubbed with sand 
and coral until they had produced a smooth sur- 
face. Thus far successful, they coloured the 



stones with the purple juice of the mountain 
plantain, to give them the appearance of English 
slates. Some of the boys completed the resem- 
blance by cutting them square and framing 
them, so that, without close examination, you 
could scarcely detect the difference. The next 
desideratum was a pencil, and for this they went 
into the sea, and procured a number of the echi- 
nus, or sea-egg, which is armed with twenty or 
thirty spines. 

These they burnt slightly to render them soft, 
that they might not scratch ; and with these 
flakes of stone for a slate, and the spine of the 
sea-egg for a pencil, they wrote exceedingly 
well: and hundreds of them took down the 
principal portions of every discourse they 


Discovery of the Samoa Group French Navigators 
Names of the Islands Kotzebue Mauua Orosenga 
Of u Tutuila Upolu ManonoAborima Savaii 
Importance of the Group Eligibility for a British 
Settlement Soil Trees Various uses of the Candle- 
nut Breadfruit, and Cocoa nut Trees Bolanyofthe 
Islands M . Betero Birds Vampire Bat Snakes and 
Lizards Fish Fishing Turtle. 

In various parts of my Narrative I have given 
the reader to understand that many points of 
importance were reserved for the conclusion. 
To these I shall now call his attention; and 
that which appears to demand our first con- 
sideration is, the geography of the IN avigators' 

This extensive and populous group is situated 
in the South Pacific Ocean, and extends four 
degrees east and west. It was discovered on 
the 3rd of May, 1678, by the French circumna- 
vigator Bougainville, who gave it the designation 
it now bears, most probably on account of the 
superior construction of the canoes of the na- 
tives, and their surprising dexterity in the 
water. The group is called by the inhabitants, 
Sa-moa, and consists of eight islands -.Manua, 
Orosenga, Ofu, Tutuila, Upohi, Manono, Abori- 
ma, and Savaii. In addition to these there are 
several small islands off the coast of Tutuila and 

In the year 1788 this group was visited by the 
unfortunate La Perouse, whose colleague, M. de 
Langle, and a number of his men, were barba- 
rously murdered by the natives. This tragical 
act conveyed such an impression of their treach- 
ery and ferocity as deterred subsequent voy- 
agers from venturing among them. And for 
many years they appear not to have been visited 
by a vessel from any part of the civilised 

The names given by the French navigators 
are so confused and incorrect, that it is utterly 
impossible to know the islands which they in- 
tended to designate. Upolu they called Oyo- 
lava, and the large island of Savaii, Pola. Ma- 
nua they call Opoun, Orosenga and Ofu, Fanfou 
and Leone. Now Leone is the name of a bay 
at Tutuila, which island they call Manua. 

Indeed, there is not one island named cor- 

rectly, and I am quite unable to divine where 
Bougainville and La Perouse obtained the names 
under which they describe them. 

In this respect, as well as in every other, Cap- 
tain Cook's superiority is strikingly displayed. 
The accuracy of his directions is such, that you 
may follow them with as much confidence as 
you travel the high roads of England ; and the 
excellent sense of this prince of navigators is 
manifested in his retaining the native names of 
the places at which he touched. This is of 
singular advantage to persons visiting the nu- 
merous islands of the Pacific. 

In our most popular nautical works, especially 
in Norie's Epitome, it will be seen that the 
names there given differ from those attached to 
the same islands in his charts of the Pacific, 
but neither of them are correct. 

The Russian navigator, Kotzebue, says that 
he visited ibis group ; but with all his skill in 
misrepresenting and vituperating the Mission- 
aries, he has failed to correct one error or to 
supply a single deficiency of his French prede- 
cessors. But while he has not done this, he 
takes great credit to himself for introducing 
yams among this people, and thereby preventing 
them from being driven to the dire necessity of 
eating human flesh ; whereas the Samoa islanders 
were never addicted to that horrid practice ; and 
as for yams, they had them before Kotzebue was 

As I may not have occasion to refer to this 
individual again, I shall embrace the present 
opportunity of saying, that his ' New Voyage 
round the World,' so far as it relates to Tahiti, 
is one tissue of falsehoods, containing accounts 
of persons who never existed, and lengthened 
histories of events which never occurred. 

Manua. Sailing to the eastward, after passing 
a small, uninhabited island, about seventy miles 
east of the whole group,* this island, 169 J 1' W. 
long., 14 9' S. lat., presents itself. It is cir- 
cular, and so elevated as to be visible at the 
distance of forty or fifty miles. The shore is 
lofty and bold, and there appeared to be but 
little low land. I did not observe any dangers 
off the coast. The whole group, however, re- 
quires to be properly surveyed. The inhabitants 
of Manua are regarded as a conquered people, 
and are, in consequence, despised and oppressed 
by the other islanders. Indeed, in most of the 
groups of the Pacific, one island was subject to 
peculiar oppression, and supplied the others 
with human sacrifices and slaves : and in single 
islands, particular districts were thus subjected. 
This was the case with the district of Arorangi 
at Rarotonga, the chief and people of which 
dwelt in the mountains. 

Orosenga and Ofu next appear. These are 
two comparatively insignificant islands, nearly 

* I was also informed of a very dangerous reef about 
four degrees eastward of the group. Off Keppel's and 
Boseawen's Islands there are several sunken rocks, at a 
distance of six miles from the shore, upon which the sea 
appeared to break at intervals of about a quarter of an 
hour, and we were close to them before they were ob- 
served. There is also a dangerous reef about 25 miles 
N.N.E. of these islands. 




united at right angles. The inhahitants were 
not so numerous as at Manua ; indeed, most of 
the people of Ofu have been destroyed by those 
of Orosenga. The coast appeared to be free 
from danger. 

Tutuila is about fifty miles west of Orosenga, 
in 170 16' W. long., 14 20' S. lat. This is a 
fine, romantic island, of from eighty to a hun- 
dred miles in circumference. It was heie that 
the unfortunate M. de Langle lost his lie ; and, 
on this account, the bay, in which he was mur- 
dered, received the name of Massacre Cove. 
In sailing down the south coast we observed 
several fine bays, two of which attracted our 
particular observation. One was called Pango- 
pango. Into this, vessels of a hundred tons 
burden might run, and anchor with safety. 
Leone is the name of the other, which is so 
spacious and deep that ships of any burden 
might anchor there with perfect safety, except 
during a strong south wind. It was in this bay 
that I was so kindly received. See page 109. 

Upolu, the next island of the group, is in cir- 
cumference between 150 and 200 miles. The 
mountains on this island are very high, and, in 
clear weather, may be seen for fifty or sixty 
miles. These are richly clothed with verdure to 
their summits ; and, in the north-east parts of the 
island, they present a variety, in their form and 
character, which, in some situations, renders 
their appearance romantic and sublime ; in 
others soft, luxuriant, and beautiful. It has 
been stated that there were no harbours in this 
group ; but, at this island alone, we found three, 
and there may be others. The one at Apia, in 
which we anchored, is 6pacious, commodious, 
and safe ; and, as it faces the north, it admits, 
with the prevailing trade-wind, of easy ingress 
and egress. The bottom is sandy, and at twenty 
yards from the shore there are about five fathoms 
of water. A river falls into the bay, so that any 
quantity of excellent water may easily be ob- 
tained there. 

Ma-no-no lies next, and is about five miles in 
circumference. It is attached, by a shoal and 
reef, to the south-west extremity of Upolu ; the 
reef passes round it, and rejoins Upolu on the 
opposite side. This island offers several good 
harbours for vessels of forty or fifty tons burden. 
There is shoal water to a considerable distance 
from the 9hore ; but I am not aware that any 
rocks exist to render approach dangerous. On 
the north side of the island there is a good 
roadstead. Manono, although small, is of 
great importance ; for, as its inhabitants have 
been victorious in every struggle, it has obtained 
a kind of political superiority over the whole 
group. It has many dependent settlements on 
the larger islands of Savaii and Upolu, and, 
when engaged in a contest, draws such assistance 
from these as to form a force which no single 
chief can withstand. Hence the inhabitants of 
Manono are called the Malo, or victorious 
people. Notwithstanding this, it is affirmed 
that they have never been the aggressors in a 
conflict. The island is badly supplied with 
water, but the natives have sunk wells, and 
have thus succeeded in obtaining it. 

Aborima is abouttwo miles in circumference, 
from two to three hundred feet in height, and is 
situated half-way between Manono and Savaii. 
It received its name, which signifies the hollow 
of the hand, from its remarkable shape. Most 
probably it is the crater of an extinct volcano. 
It is precipitous and inaccessible, except at one 
small opening; and the people of Manono, to 
whom it is subject, use it in time of war as a 
fortress for their families and property, and, in 
the event of defeat, as a retreat for themselves. 
For these purposes it is well adapted, as it is so 
completely protected on all sides by the inacces- 
sible rocks, that it is only necessary to guard the 
narrow entrance. This is done most effectually, 
first, by throwing tripping lines across it, so 
that men stationed on the jutting rocks that 
flank the passage could easily overturn every 
canoe that entered it ; and secondly, by con- 
structing a platform or bridge on the rocks that 
overhang this opening, from which they could 
hurl huge stones upon the invaders. Although, 
therefore, the people of Manono had been at 
times driven from their own island, this retreat 
was so effectually guarded, and so well provided 
with food, that they never had been, and 
scarcely could be subdued. Barren and steril 
as are the sides of the rocks, a very different 
appearance is presented when you arrive oppo- 
site to the point where the crater has emptied 
itself. Here the whole of the interior opens at 
once to the view, and anything more beautiful 
or unique I never beheld. The island is a 
basin, most regularly scooped out, and ascending 
with a gentle slope from the centre to the cir- 
cumference ; and although, on approaching it, 
nothing meets the eye but steril cliffs, when you 
catch a glimpse of the amphitheatre within, you 
discover, there an impressive contrast to the 
dreariness and desolation without. N ot a barren 
spot is to be seen, but one verdant mass of tro- 
pical vegetation, the whole of which, from the 
peculiar form of the island, presents itself at a 
single view, and fills the beholder with delight. 
If anything could enhance the beauty of the 
scene, it is the group of native dwellings, which, 
half revealed among the trees of cocoa-nut, 
bread-fruit, and banana, form the settlement. 
But I must hasten to notice 

Sava-ii, the last and largest of the group, 
which is said to be 250 miles in circumference. 
The mountains of this superb island are very 
lofty, and visible at a distance of sixty or seventy 
miles. These gradually increase in height, 
from the sea to the centre of the island, and all 
of them are covered and crowned with noble 
forests. Savaii, in beauty, extent, and import- 
ance, yields to few of the many charming islands 
that bestud and adorn the bosom of the Pacific. 

The straits between Upolu and Savaii are 
from ten to fifteen miles wide, and at their 
southern entrance are Manono and Aborima. 
They may be passed by vessels of the largest 
class with perfect safety, and are entered either 
between Savaii and Aborima, or between 
Manono and Aborima, both openings being suf- 
ficiently wide, and perfectly free from rocks and 



The Navigators group is, with the exception 
of the Sandwich Islands, the largest and most 
populous in the Pacific at which missions have 
been commenced, and in a few years they will, 
I no doubt, rise into considerable importance. 
As they lie in the vicinity of the Friendly 
Islands, the extensive Fiji group, the New 
Hebrides, New Caledonia, and numerous other 
solitary islands, intercourse between them could 
be easily maintained, and thus a civilizing and 
religious influence might be exerted upon the 
countless thousands of benighted heathen, who 
dwell between the Samoas and the coast of New 
Holland ; and, whether we view this group as a 
mart for commercial enterprise, a field for sci- 
entific research, or a sphere for the exercise of 
Christian benevolence, we must regard it with 
feelings of the liveliest interest. 

A few years ago it was much wished by the 
inhabitants of New South Wales that the British 
Government would form a settlement at one of 
the South Sea Islands, where ships might refresh 
and refit, without being exposed to danger. 
The fate of the unfortunate Oldham whaler, and 
the numerous tragical events which were con- 
stantly occurring at these islands, gave rise to 
this suggestion. Although the danger has 
ceased where Christianity has been introduced, 
yet, should such an establishment be determined 
upon, the Navigators group is a most eligible 
place for its formation. Its central situation, 
the excellence of the harbours, the abundant 
supply of water and provision, the amazing 
extent of rich and arable land, and the quantity 
and variety of the timber, are important pre- 
requisites for an establishment of this description, 
and such as must insure its prosperity. 

For their extent of surface these islands de- 
serve consideration. There are many valleys 
containing thousands of acres of rich soil, en- 
tirely untilled ; indeed, the portion of country 
under cultivation is very inconsiderable ; for, as 
the fruits grow so abundantly without labour, 
the Samoans, like the Tahitians, display but 
little ingenuity in agriculture. In this they are 
greatly surpassed by their neighbours, the Ton- 
gatubuans, who subsist almost entirely upon 
produce raised by themselves ; while the Tahi- 
tian and the light-hearted Samoan can work or 
play, rove abroad or stay at home, dance or 
sleep, with the assurance that the beautiful 
grove of bread-fruit trees, in which his cottage 
is embowered, will afford him an abundant sup- 
ply ; and, if these should prove insufficient, that 
the mountains abound with bananas, plantains, 
wild yams, and other esculents, more than 
enough to supply the deficiency. Notwith- 
standing this, however, the Samoans cultivate 
vast quantities of taro, because they prefer it to 
the yam. 

The soil is so exceedingly rich, that coffee, 
sugar, cotton, and every other tropical produc- 
tion, may be raised in these islands to almost 
any extent ; and, as they are well watered, and 
abound with springs, lakes and streams, machi- 
nery might, in many places, be worked with the 
greatest facility. This, of course, enhances the 
value of these superb islands incalculably. 

The trees at the Samoas, as at Tahiti, ex- 
hibit great beauty and variety. Some are re- 
markable for their size, and others for their 
flowers, or fragrance, or fruit. Most of them 
are evergreens. Indeed, there are but two or 
three deciduous trees on the islands. In general, 
the new and old leaves, the bud and the blossom, 
the young fruit and the ripe, appear together, and 
adorn these through the whole circle of the year. 
Some of the trees are exceedingly valuable as 
timber. This is the case with the tamanu (calo- 
phyllum). These grow to an amazing size. I 
have seen them five feet in diameter. The na- 
tives select this wood for their canoes, stools, 
pillows, bowls, and other articles, which are 
wrought, with immense labour, out of the solid 
mass. It has been used by us in ship-building ; 
and, as it is durable, and holds a nail with great 
tenacity, it is very valuable for that purpose. 
Its value is further enhanced by the circum- 
stance, that iron lasts much longer in the 
tamanu than in any other wood. We have also 
made furniture of it. It has a veiny and beau- 
tiful grain, and is susceptible of a high polish. In 
the hands of European cabinet-makers it would 
vie with some of our most admired woods. This 
might become an important article of commerce. 
The amai or miro is another tree of note in 
the various islands of the Pacific. The leaves 
of the miro were always used in religious cere- 
monies, and ambassadors invariably carried a 
branch of it as an emblem of their authority. 
The wood is of a close textuie, of a dark brown 
colour, very little variegated, but susceptible of 
a high polish. It is easily worked, and makes 
beautiful furniture. 

The tou (cordia) is a low, wide-spreading tree, 
and is generally planted near the dwellings of 
the chiefs. Its wood closely resembles rosewood 
in colour and grain, but it is not so hard. It 
makes beautiful furniture. I have frequently 
thought that it would be exceedingly valuable 
for musical instruments, as the wooden drums 
made from it by the natives produce a far more 
sonorous and mellow sound than those con- 
structed from any other tree. On this account 
the tou is highly prized by them. 

To those already mentioned I might add seve- 
ral other trees, especially the tot, with the bota- 
nical name of which I am unacquainted. This 
tree grows to a considerable size and height. 
The wood, towards the heart of the tree, is of 
a blood red, and the lighter parts are beautifully 
waved, like satin-wood : it takes a high polish. 
The toa, also, (casuarina,) abounds in all the 
islands, attains to a large size, and is covered 
with exceedingly graceful foliage. The wood is 
reddish brown, and very hard. We have used 
it for sheaves of blocks, for cogs to our sugar- 
mills, and for other similar articles ; and I think 
it would be valuable for a variety of purposes 
for which hard wood is required in England. 
The ingenuity of the natives is displayed in 
working this wood, which they do with won- 
derful facility, considering their miserable tools 
of shell, stone, and bone. Their clubs and 
spears, many of which are most exquisitely 
carved, are made of this wood. 



The above and numerous other trees, which 
the islands produce in great abundance, might 
be added to the list of those most valued in 
Europe. From many of them gums and dyes 
are procured, which might become articles of 
importance in our own and other civilized coun- 
tries. Several of the trees possess a high value 
to the islanders ; and I have frequently admired, 
on the one hand, the beneficence of God, who 
has united so many useful qualities in a single 
plant ; and, on the other, the ingenuity of the 
natives in discovering and applying these to the 
purposes of necessity and comfort. Of this 
remark I shall select an illustration. The can- 
dle-nut tree (aleurites triloba) abounds in the 
mountains ; and, as its leaves are nearly white, 
they form a most agreeable contrast to the dark 
rich foliage of the other trees among which it is 
interspersed. It bears a nut, about the size of 
a walnut, which is used as a substitute for a 
candle. Having stripped off the shell, they 
perforate the kernel, and string a number of 
these on a rib of the cocoa-nut leaflet, and then 
light them. By burning large quantities of this 
nut in a curiously constructed oven, the natives 
obtain a very fine lampblack, with which they 
paint their canoes, idols, and drums, and print 
various devices upon their ornamental garments. 
They also use the colouring thus obtained in 
tatooing their skin. Besides this, the tuitui 
furnishes a gum with which they varnish the 
cloth made from the bark of the bread-fruit 
tree, thus rendering it more impervious and 
durable. From its inner bark a juice is pro- 
cured, which is a valuable substitute for paint- 
oil, and when mixed with lampblack, or with 
the dye from the casuarina and other trees, it 
becomes so permanent that it never washes off.* 

But, among all the trees that adorn the islands 
of the Pacific, the bread-fruit deserves the pre- 
eminence for its beauty and value. It frequently 
grows fifty or sixty feet high, and has a trunk 
between two and three feet in diameter. The 
leaves are broad and sinuated, something similar 
in their form to those of the fig-tree. They are 
frequently eighteen inches in length, and of a 
dark green colour, with a glossy surface resem- 
bling that of the richest evergreens. The fruit 
is oval, about six inches in diameter, and of a 
light pea-green. It always grows at the extre- 
mity of the branches, and hangs either alone, 
or in clusters of two or three. There are some- 
times several hundreds of these upon one tree, 
and their light colour, contrasted with the dark, 
glossy leaves among which they hang, together 
with the stately outline and spiring shape of the 
tree, render it an object which, for its beauty, 
is not surpassed in the whole vegetable world. 
The value of this wonderful tree, however, ex- 
ceeds its beauty. It is everything to the natives, 
their house, their food, and their clothing. The 
trunk furnishes one of the best kinds of timber 
they possess. It is the colour of mahogany, ex- 
ceedingly durable, and is used by the natives in 
building their canoes and houses, and in the 

* Finding that the cocoa-nut oil, when mixed with 
paint, did not dry, we extracted an oil from the candle- 
nut, which answered the purpose much better. 

manufacture of the few articles of furniture 
they formerly possessed. From the bark of the 
branches they fabricate their clothing ; and, 
when the tree is punctured, there exudes from 
it a quantity of mucilaginous fluid, resembling 
thick cream, which hardens by exposure to the 
sun, and, when boiled, answers all the purposes 
of English pitch. The fruit is, to the South 
Sea islander, the staff of life. It bears two 
crops every season. Besides this, there are 
several varieties,* which ripen at different pe- 
riods, so that the natives have a supply of this 
palatable and nutritious food during the greater 
part of the year. The leaves are excellent 
fodder for the cattle, and they are so excessively 
fond of it, thas it is necessary to protect the 
young trees by high and strong fences. 

At the Navigators' Islands we found a variety, 
with which the Hervey and Tahitian islanders 
are unacquainted. This had a number of seeds 
ranged around the core.f The tree which pro- 
duces this fruit does not grow to so great a size 
as the others, and the leaves are not sinuated. 
I observed that the rustic native cottages gene- 
rally stood amidst a grove of these beautiful 
little trees, the fruitful branches of which em- 
bowered them, and shielded their inmates from 
the piercing rays of the sun. The inhabitants 
of these fertile spots can lie upon their mats, 
and, without labour or care, behold their bread 
growing before their eyes. Many other parti- 
culars respecting this invaluable tree might be 
noticed, but I have already exceeded the limits 
I had assigned to myself for remarks upon the 
botany of the islands ; and, as so many have 
written upon the subject, it is unnecessary for 
me to traverse the ground again. 

The same observation is applicable to the 
coeoa-nut tree. Its appearance, its character, 
and its uses, have been so minutely described 
by others, especially by the Rev. "W. Ellis,* that 
I shall only add a remark or two, to illustrate 
the wisdom and goodness of the kind Father of 
the human family, in making this provision for 
their wants. The bread-fruit tree requires 
depth of soil, and consequently cannot grow 
upon low coral islands. But those who dwell 
upon these spots are not left to perish ; for 
where the bread-fruit tree will not exist, there 
the cocoa-nut tree flourishes ; and the latter is 
as valuable to the inhabitants of the coral, as 
the former is to those of the mountainous 
islands. Of the trunk of the cocoa-nut tree the 
natives obtain timber for building their houses 
and canoes. AVith the leaves thev thatch their 

* There are very many varieties of the bread-fruit, for 
each of which the natives have distinct names ; and there 
stood in our garden a tree which was regarded by them as a 
very great curiosity. Its two main blanches differed con- 
siderably, the leaves on the one side of the tree being 
much more deeply sinuated than those of the other, and 
the fruit on the one branch being ova., while that on the 
other was nearly round. This was an accidental circum- 
stance, for the natives do not understand grafting. 

t When I informed the Raiateans of this circumstance, 
it excited considerable amazement, and the first tiling 
Makea inquired for, on arriving at the Samoas, was the 
bread-fruit with seed in it, that he might see the wonder 
for himself. 

X Ellis's Polinesian Researches. 



dwellings and make baskets. Round that part 
of the stem of each leaf -which is attached to 
the trunk of the tree, there is found a remark- 
ably fine and strong fibrous matting, which is a 
singular provision for the security of the long 
leaves against the violence of the winds. The 
cloth thus woven in the loom of nature is alto- 
gether a most curious substance ; the regularity 
with which the fibres cross each other, and the 
singular manner in which they are attached, 
give it the appearance of being a product of 
human ingenuity. It is obtained in pieces of 
about two feet in length, and ten or twelve 
inches wide, and is used by the natives for a 
variety of purposes, but principally for sails and 
clothing. It is of a wiry texture ; and, when 
worn, would be exceedingly distressing, if the 
skin of the natives was tender. The principal 
value of this tree, however, consists in the sup- 
ply it yields both of food and water. In many 
of the coral islands there are neither streams nor 

springs ; and, were it not for the cocoa-nut, the 
inhabitants must perish. On a sultry day, when 
the very ground burns with heat, a native, by 
climbing the cylindrical trunk of one of these 
trees, can pluck a dozen unripe nuts, each con- 
taining a pint or more of water, as cool and 
refreshing as from the limpid stream.* Is it 
possible to reflect upon the wonderful adapta- 
tion of the fruits of the earth to the climate 
where they grow, and the circumstances of man, 
without exclaiming, " How manifold are thy 
works, O God ! in wisdom hast thou made them 

As I have already intimated, the cocoa-nut 
tree can be killed with great ease. In the year 
1832 myriads of insects, of the mantis family, 
appeared at Rarotonga and the surrounding 
islands ; and vast numbers of these invaluable 
trees were destroyed by them. The following 
is a representation of the insect. 


I shall conclude these remarks by observing 
that perhaps few more extensive or more in- 
viting fields are open to the botanist than the 
South Sea Islands. This will be apparent, 
when I inform my reader that, in 1832, the 
Tahitian and Society Islands were visited by 
M. Bertero, an Italian botanist, an accom- 
plished and scientific man, who astonished not 
only the natives, but ourselves by the cures he 
effected with medicinal herbs. When a patient 
came to him for relief, M. Bertero, without 
going twenty yards from the spot, would often 
point out some herb, which, used according to 
his directions, produced in numberless instances 
the most beneficial effects. This gentleman was 
enthusiastic and indefatigable in the pursuit of 
his object ; and, during the eight or ten months 
of his sojourn at the islands, he obtained two 
thousand neio specimens. I regret exceedingly 
to state that the vessel in which he sailed for 
the west coast of South America perished at 
sea, and that this gentleman was unhappily lost, 
together with his valuable collection. This re- 
gret is heightened by the circumstance, that he 
had imbibed principles which could have af- 
forded him no consolation when battling with 
the wave that was about to ingulf him. 
No. 9. 

" 'Tis religion that can give 

Sweetest pleasures while we live ; 
'Tis religion must supply 
Solid comfort when we die." 

At the Tahitian and Hervey Islands there 
are but few varieties of the feathered tribes ; 
and these are not remarkable either for the 
beauty of their plumage or for the sweetness of 
their notes. At the Navigators they are far 
more numerous ; but even there the ornitholo- 
gist may soon complete his catalogue. I was 
certainly surprised to find that owls abounded 
at this group, as not a single specimen is found 
at the islands to the east of it. There are also 
several species of the turtle-dove at the Samoas, 
and I obtained one, the plumage of which was 
exquisitely beautiful ; bright blue-green and 
vermilion being the prevailing colours. These, 
together with paroquets, water-hens, wood- 
pigeons, wild-ducks, and a few others, compre- 

* The cocoa-nut milk, as it is obtained in England, con- 
veys no accurate idea of the delicious beverage used by 
the natives ; for, as the nuts arc! old and dry, the fluid is 
rancid. In the tropics, the water is drunk before the ker- 
nel is formed, when it is perfectly clear, and combines a 
degree of acidity and sweetness, which renders it as re- 
freshing as lemonade. 



hend all the varieties of the feathered tribe 
found in the Samoa Islands. The vampire-bat 
abounds at this group ; and it is a singular fact 
that they are also numerous at Mangaia, but 
unknown at every other island eastward of the 
Navigators. At Savage Island, they are re- 
garded by the natives as a great delicacy. Some 
that I was conveying to Rarotonga as a curiosity 
died on board the ship, and the two Savage Island 
youths skinned, broiled, and ate them. The 
Samoans venerated them as etus ; and, if Satan 
is worshipped for his ugliness, I do not wonder 
that this creature was selected to represent him. 

Snakes also, which are unknown at the Tahi- 
tian and Hervey groups, abound here. I was 
informed that there were several species of 
them, some of which are beautifully variegated. 
Those procured for me were of a dark olive co- 
lour, about three feet long. There are also 
water-snakes, some of them beautifully marked 
with longitudinal stripes of yellow and black, 
and others with rings, alternately white and 
black. The natives esteem both the land and sea- 
snake good food. In the disorder occasioned 
by the leak in our ship, and her subsequent 
sinking at Tongatabu, I lost my snakes, and many 
other curiosities which I was conveying home. 

Very large lizards are found on the mountains 
of Savaii and Upolu ; and, from the description 
I received, I should conclude that they were 
guanas. None, however, of these reptiles are 

Another peculiarity in the natural history of 
the group is, that a wild dog is found in the 
mountains. I regretted exceedingly that I could 
not obtain one. From the description I re- 
ceived, it appears to be a small animal, of a 
dark, dirty grey, or lead colour, with little or no 
hair, and large, erect ears. 

The coast abounds with jish and turtle, and 
the Samoans are exceedingly expert in catching 
them. The methods they adopt are similar to 
those of the Tahitian and Society islanders, 
who, I think, have more contrivances, and those 
more ingenious, than the natives of other groups. 
The Hervey islanders, however, surpass them 
in taking the flying fish. The Samoans make 
fish-hooks of bone, pearl, turtle, and other 
shells. They also make fishing-nets of the bark 
of the hibiscus, the bread-fruit, the banian, 
and other trees. But the most ingenious method 
of fishing which I saw at the Samoas was the 
following : a number of hollow floats, about 
eight inches in diameter, and of the same 
height, were attached to a strong cord, at a short 
distance from each other. To each of these a 
line was fastened, about ten inches long, at the 
end of which was a piece of fish-bone, made 
very sharp at both ends, and suspended by the 
middle ; so that, when the fish seized the bait, 
the bone pierced it in contrary directions, and 
thus secured the prey. The floats answered two 
purposes ; to attract the fish by their whiteness, 
and to show when it was caught. 

The rau roa is another method by which vast 
quantities of fish are taken. This is formed of 
a number of cocoa-nut and other leaves, fast- 
ened firmly together, which are dragged from 

moderately deep into shallow water, where the 
fish are encircled and captured. The natives 
generally select creeks and bays for using the 
rau roa. They also adopt the practice of in- 
toxicating fish ; and for this purpose throw in a 
quantity of bruised seeds of the hutu, or Bar- 
ringtonia tree. The albicore, boneto, ray, 
sword-fish, and sharks, are among the larger 
sea-fish eaten by the natives : in addition to 
these they have an almost endless variety of 
rock-fish, which are remarkably sweet and good. 
Salmon abound in many of the islands, but these 
are caught in the salt-water. They exactly re- 
semble the English variety in size and shape, 
but the flesh is white. Crabs, lobsters, and 
rock-oysters, with a vast variety of other shell- 
fish, are found amongst the coral reefs and rocks. 
In the rivers and lakes there are prawns, shrimps, 
and eels. 

Turtle are far more numerous at the Samoas 
than at Tahiti or the Hervey group. There are 
also two varieties, the hawksbill and the green. 
Of the shell of the former, which in Eng- 
land is called tortoise-shell, the natives make 
finger-rings, fish-hooks, and neck and ear orna- 
ments ; but, having lately learned that it was a 
valuable article of barter, they estimate it more 
highly than they did. The turtle was considered 
by the Rarotongans and Tahitians as most sa- 
cred. A part of every one caught was offered 
to the gods, and the rest cooked with sacred 
fire, and partaken of by the king and principal 
chiefs only. I suppose no woman, in any of 
those islands, ever tasted that Juxury prior to 
the introduction of Christianity. 

In concluding this brief notice of the natural 
history of the Navigators Islands, I would re- 
mark that there is not, in the whole range of 
the Pacific, a finer group ; and I am persuaded 
that, as soon as the progress of religion amongst 
the inhabitants shall afford additional facilities 
for properly exploring them, a vast amount of 
interesting information will be obtained, and 
more beauties and wonders will be disclosed. 


Distinct R;icc of Polynesians Islands inhabited by each 
Race Malay Origin of the Inhabitants of Eastern 
Polynesia Reasons for this Theory Three Objections 
answered Origin of the Inhabitants of Western Poly- 
nesia doubtful Conjectures respecting them Spiritual 
Condition of the two Races Physical Character of the 
Eastern Polynesians Superiority of the Chiefs, with 
reasons for it Intellectual Capacities of the People 
Opinions of themselves Mental Peculiarities Wit 
and Humour Proverbs and Similes Ingenuity Good 
Sense Eloquence Desire of Knowledge Influence 
of Religion upon the Intellect Appropriate use .of 

Origin of the South Sea Islandeks. I 
have already stated that the numerous isles of 
the Pacific are peopled by two races of men, 
who, although possessing many characteristics 
in common, exhibit numerous traces of distinct 
origin. This clearly appears in their physical 
conformation, colour, and language. The one 
race is allied to the negro, having a Herculean 
frame, black skin, and woolly, or rather crisped 
hair ; while the hair of the other is bright, lank, 


and glossy, the skin of a light copper-colour, 
and the countenance resembling that of the 
Malay. The latter inhabit Eastern Polynesia, 
which includes the Sandwich, the Marqucsan, 
the Paumotu, the Tahitian and Society, the 
Austral, the Hervey, the Navigato7-s, the Friendly 
Islands, New Zealand, and all the smaller 
islands in their respective vicinities ; while the 
former race, which we may designate the Poly- 
nesian negro, is found from the Fijis to the 
coast of New Holland, which, for the sake of 
distinction, we shall call Western Polynesia. 
It will appear, then, that the natives on the 
eastern part of New Holland, and the intertro- 
pical islands within thirty degrees east of it, 
including New Guinea, New Britain, Ncio Ire- 
land, the Archipelago of Lonsiade, Solomon's 
Isles, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and 
the Fijis, differ essentially from the copper- 
coloured inhabitants of the other islands. There 
is, indeed, in most of the islands, a partial in- 
termixture of these races ; but the great mass of 
the people clearly exhibits the distinction I have 
made. Hitherto, Missionary labours have been 
entirely confined to the copper-coloured natives. 
We have now, however, proceeded so far west, 
as to reach the negro race, and our next effort 
will be to impart the same blessings to them. 
To this we are encouraged by the fact, and a 
fact more interesting can scarcely be found, 
that nearly the whole nation of Polynesian Asi- 
atics is now converted to the Christian faith. 

The point, then, for consideration is, the 
origin of these islanders. In tracing that of the 
copper-coloured Polynesians, I find no diffi- 
culty. Their physical conformation, their ge- 
neral character, and their Malay countenance, 
furnish, I think, indubitable evidence of their 
Asiatic origin. But to these proofs must be 
added, the near affinity between the caste of 
India and the tabu of the South Sea Isles ; the 
similarity of the opinions which prevailed re- 
specting women, and the treatment they re- 
ceived in Polynesia and Bengal, more especially 
the common practice of forbidding them to eat 
certain kinds of food, or to partake of any in 
the presence of the men ; their inhuman con- 
duct to the sick ; the immolation of the wives 
at the funeral of their husbands ; and a great 
number of games and usages. These, I think, 
are clear indications of the Asiatic origin of this 
people ; but the correspondence between the 
language spoken by the Malays and the Poly- 
nesians is a still more decisive evidence. Many 
of the words are the same in all the dialects of 
the South Sea Islands ; but the identity is very 
remarkable in the speech of the New Zealanders, 
Rarotongans, and others, who introduce the 
nasal sound, and the hard consonants. Of this 
I will furnish a very few examples. 


English. Karotonga. Malay. 

The eye mata mata 

Food manga mangan 

Dead mate mate 

A bird manu manu 

Fish ika ika 

"Water vai vai 

The Polynesians employ the Malay numerals 

with scarcely any variation ; but, as the Samoa 

islanders frequently insert the s and the I into 

their words, these are most like the Malay. 

This will be apparent from an example. 

English. Tahitian. liarotonga. Samoa. Malay. 

Ten ahuru ngauru safulu sat'ulu 

Moon marama marama malama malama 

These are the principal circumstances upon 
which I found the belief, that the copper- 
coloured Polynesians, and the various tribes 
inhabiting the Indian Archipelago, have the 
same origin. 

To this theory there are three objections, 
which have been considered formidable, the 
distance of the Malay coast from Tahiti ; the 
prevalence of the easterly trade-winds within 
the tropics ; and the unfitness of the native ca- 
noes for performing long voyages. But I think 
I can show that these difficulties have been much 

Let us consider for a moment the first ob- 
jection, the distance from the Malay coast to 
Tahiti, the Sandwich, and other islands. That 
distance is about a hundred degrees, six or 
seven thousand miles ; and it is thought to have 
been impossible for the natives to perform such 
a voyage with their vessels, and imperfect know- 
ledge of navigation. If no islands intervened, 
I should at once admit the conclusiveness of 
this objection ; or, if we were to assert that they 
came direct from the Malay coast to islands so 
far east, the assertion could not be maintained ; 
but if we can show that such a voyage may be 
performed by very short stages, the difficulty 
will disappear. Suppose, then, that the pro- 
nenitors of the present islanders had started from 
the Malay coast or Sumatra, what would have 
been their route % By sailing five degrees, or three 
hundred miles, they would reach Borneo ; then, 
by crossing the Straits of Macassar, which are 
only about two hundred miles wide, they would 
arrive at the Celebes. These are eight degrees 
from New Guinea, but the large islands of Bes- 
sey and Ceram intervene. The distance from 
New Guinea to the New Hebrides is twelve 
hundred miles ; but the islands between them 
are so numerous, that the voyage may be made 
by short and easy stages. Five hundred miles 
from the New Hebrides are the Fijis; and 
about three hundred miles further on, the 
Friendly Islands. Another stage of five hun- 
dred miles brings you to the Navigators ; but, 
between these two points three other groups 
intervene. From the Navigators to the Her- 
vey Islands, the distance is about seven hundred 
miles, and from thence to the Society group 
about four hundred more. Thus, I think, 
every difficulty vanishes ; for the longest stage, 
in the voyage from Sumatra to Tahiti, would 
be from the Navigators to the Hervey group, 
seven hundred miles ; and the Rarotongans 
themselves say that their progenitor, Karika, 
came from thence.* 

The two opposite points have yet to be 
reached the Sandwich Islands and New Zea- 

See pages 51, 52. 

K -J 


land. The former are about two thousand five 
hundred miles north of Tahiti ; but the voyage, 
if made by way of the Marquesas, would not be 
difficult, because the distance would thus be 
diminished from six to eight hundred miles, and 
the voyagers taken so much to the eastward, 
that they would be wafted with great velocity 
before the prevailing trade- wind. With this 
supposition the native traditions agree ; one of 
which states, that after the Island of Hawaii 
was produced by the bursting of an egg, which 
an immense bird laid upon the sea, a man and 
woman, with a hog, a dog, and a pair of fowls, 
arrived in a canoe from the Society Islands, and 
became the progenitors of the present inhabit- 
ants ; and, in another it is stated, that a number 
of persons arrived in a caiioe from Tahiti, and 
perceiving that the Sandwich Islands were in- 
habited only by gods or spirits, they took up their 
abode at Oahu. Certainly such traditions, di- 
vested of those parts which are fabulous, in the 
absence of all evidence to the contrary, ought 
to be admitted in confirmation of the theory I 
am advocating. 

In reaching New Zealand from Tongatabu, 
or the Fiji Islands, comparatively little difficulty 
would be experienced. The distance is about 
twelve hundred miles ; but if the wind happens 
to be from the north-east, which is a frequent 
occurrence, the voyage could be performed in a 
few days. My own boat was on one occasion 
driven from Tahiti to Atiu, and on another 
from Rarotonga to Tongatabu, a distance alto- 
gether of fifteen hundred miles ; and on my 
last voyage, I conveyed home some natives of 
Aitutaki, who had been drifted in a single 
canoe to Proby's Island, which is a thousand 
miles west of their own. 

Thus, I think, I have disposed of the first ob- 
jection to my theory ; and I now proceed to 
the consideration of the second, the prevalence 
of the easterly trade-winds. This has been 
deemed by many a conclusive argument against 
the Asiatic origin of the South Sea Islanders; 
but I do not attach to it so much importance. 
I am fully aware of the general prevalence of 
these winds, and of the impossibility of the na- 
tive canoes working against them ; but, after 
some observation, I am satisfied that the direc- 
tion of the wind is not so uniform as to prevent 
the Malays from reaching the various islands 
and groups in which their descendants are, I 
believe, now found. At least, every two months 
there are westerly gales for a few days, and in 
February there are what the natives call toerau 
maehaa, or the westerly twins, when the wind 
blows from the west several days, then veers 
round the compass, and, in the course of twenty- 
four hours, comes from that point again. I 
have frequently seen it continue for eight and 
ten days ; and, on one occasion, for more 
than a fortnight ; so that the difficulty pre- 
sented by the supposed uniform prevalence of 
the easterly winds is quite imaginary. In addi- 
tion to this, as I have already shown, the longest 
stage, in an easterly direction, in performing a 
voyage from Sumatra to Tahiti, would be seven 
hundred miles ; and I myself, in my first voyage 

to the Navigators, sailed sixteen hundred miles 
due east in a few days. 

The third objection, derived from the con- 
struction of the native canoes, will appear, upon 
a little consideration, as groundless as the 
others. In Marsden's History of Sumatra, a 
variety of facts are recorded, which prove, that 
long before they were visited by Europeans, 
there had been, in the Eastern Archipelago, 
some extensive and powerful maritime states. 
" In 1573, the king of Achian appeared, with a 
fleet that is described as covering the straits of 
Malacca. He ordered an attack upon three 
Portuguese frigates that were in the road pro- 
tecting some provision vessels ; which was 
executed with such a furious discharge of artil- 
lery that the Portuguese were presently de- 
stroyed with all their crews. In 1582, the 
king appeared again before Malacca, with a fleet 
of a hundred and fifty sail. In 1615, he again 
attacked the settlement, with a fleet of five hun- 
dred sail, and sixty thousand men." * Where 
then is the difficulty of allowing that a people 
thus advanced in the art of navigation should 
perform voyages all over the Pacific 1 A re- 
cent writer informs us, that " the north coast of 
New Holland has been known by the Malays 
for many years. A fleet, to the number of two 
hundred proas, annually leaves Macassar for 
the fishery there : it sails in January, during 
the westerly monsoon, and coasts from island to 
island until it reaches the north-east of Timor, 
when it steers S.E. and S.S.E., which courses 
carry them to the coast of New Holland. The 
body of the fleet then steers eastward, leaving 
here and there a division of fifteen or sixteen 
proas under the command of an inferior rajah, 
whose is the only proa that is provided with a 
compass. After having fished along the coast 
to the eastward, until the westerly monsoon 
breaks up, they return ; and, by the last day of 
May, each detached fleet leaves the coast, with- 
out waiting to collect into one body. On their 
return, they steer N.W., which brings them to 
some part of Timor ; from whence they easily 
retrace their steps to Macassar, where the Chinese 
traders meet them, and purchase their cargoes." f 
It should then be recollected that the progeni- 
tors of the South Sea Islanders would not mi- 
grate in the paltry canoes now used by many 
of their descendants, but in vessels similar to 
those in which they attacked and sunk the Por- 
tuguese frigates, and assailed the settlement at 
Malacca. Besides this, we have good evidence 
that formerly the Tahitians and Society islanders 
had canoes far superior to those now in use, in 
which they performed some extraordinary 
voyages ; and a traditionary account states, that 
one of their ancestors visited all the Friendly 
Islands, and even Rotuma, or Wallace's Island, 
which is two thousand miles west of Tahiti, 
and brought from thence the celebrated old 
seat Reua.t 

* Marsden's History of Sumatra, p. 431. 
+ Survey of the North and West Coasts of Australia, 
by Captain King, R.N. Pages 135 to 138. 1818. 
X See Tamatoa's speech, page 61. 



Thus, I think every difficulty is removed, aud 
that we need not have recourse to the theory, 
advocated hy some writers, and countenanced, 
to a certain extent, by Mr. Ellis, that the Poly- 
nesian islanders came from South America.* 
I would far rather say, provided their phy- 
sical conformation, the structure of their lan- 
guage, and other circumstances established the 
identity of the Polynesians, and the aborigines 
of America, that the latter reached that conti- 
nent through the isles of the Pacific. This, 
however, is a topic upon which, although inter- 
esting, I cannot enter; but so convinced am I 
of the practicability of performing a voyage 
from Sumatra to Tahiti in one of the large na- 
tive canoes, that, if an object of sufficient mag- 
nitude could be accomplished by it, I should 
feel no hesitation in undertaking the task. 

I fear that my remarks upon the origin of the 
Polynesian negroes will not be equally satis- 
factory with those which relate to the other 
race. This, indeed, is a dark and mysterious 
chapter in the history of man ; and all I shall 
do is to throw out a conjecture respecting them, 
and to express a hope that, when Ave obtain a 
knowledge of their language and traditions, a 
portion of the obscurity in which their origin is 
now enveloped will be cleared away. It is 
stated that the inhabitants of the mountainous 
parts of several of the Asiatic islands have black 
skin and crisped hair, and if so, it would be 
interesting to ascertain, in how many other 
points they differ from the Malays ; whether 
they keep themselves distinct from that people ; 
and whether some of their progenitors might 
not have reached the South Sea Islands, in the 
same manner as we suppose the Malays to have 
done. I think I have shown that no sufficient 
obstacle existed to prevent this, and the only 
difficulty is to account for the existence of this 
distinct nation between the Malayan Archipe- 
lago, and the islands to which the Malays have 
migrated. The hypothesis I would venture to 
suggest is, that the negro race inhabited the 
whole of the islands prior to the arrival of the 
Malay Polynesians ; that the latter being a 
tierce and treacherous people, succeeded in con- 
quering and extirpating them from the smaller 
islands and groups, but were unable to effect 
this in the larger ones ; and that consequently 
they were left in quiet possession of the islands 
which their posterity still inhabit. But, while 
the origin of this numerous nation is involved 
in much mystery, there are some points of 
greater importance in relation to them, con- 
cerning which there can be none. There the 
people are, many millions of them ; and, dark 
as is their colour, they are enveloped in a moral 
gloom of deeper hue, constitute a branch of the 
guilty family of Adam, are involved in the com- 
mon condemnation, and present a powerful 
claim upon the Christians of England for that 
Gospel, which has, under God, conveyed to the 
other race the blessings of civilization, and the 
light of immortality. To that people I shall, on 
my return, direct my principal attention ; and I 

Ellis's Polynesian Researches, vol. i., p. 122 ; 
Tour, 443. 

trust that British Christians, encouraged by the 
result of their efforts on behalf of the other 
race, will be still more anxious for the conver- 
sion of this, and never relax their efforts, or 
suspend their prayers, till all the islands that 
stud the vast Pacific shall be enlightened and 
blessed with the Gospel of salvation. 

Physical Characteristics. The physical 
differences between some of the tribes of the 
copper-coloured Polynesians are considerable ; 
but viewed collectively, they are, I think, 
amongst the finest specimens of the human 
family. The men are strong and tall, being fre- 
quently upwards of six feet high, with limbs 
firm and muscular, but not heavy and clumsy. 
Indeed, the form of many of them exhibits all 
that is perfect in proportion and exquisite in 
symmetry. This is especially the case with the 
chiefs, and more remarkably so with those of 
Tongatabu and the Eriendly Islands, whose 
form and bearing are as stately as their move- 
ments are natural and free. The women are 
inferior to the men ; but yet they often present 
the most elegant models of the human figure. 
Both the men and women are distinguished by 
vivacity, and their movements by extraordinary 
quickness and ease. They exhibit different 
shades of complexion, but their general colour is 
that of the Chinese ; the Tahitians, however, 
used formerly to fatten and whiten themselves 
at pleasure. 

Captain Cook attempted to account for the 
superior size of the chiefs, by supposing that they 
were a distinct race ; but in this we think he 
was incorrect. It may perhaps be attributed in 
part to their progenitors, who were probably 
raised to the chieftainship on account of their 
physical superiority, or of some achievements 
which resulted from it ; partly to their mothers, 
who were generally selected by the chiefs for 
their form and stature ; and partly to their 
treatment during the years of childhood and 
youth. As soon as the son of a chief was born, 
two or three of the finest and most healthy 
women were selected to nurse it ; and while 
performing this office, which they frequently did 
for three years, they were provided with abun- 
dance of the best food. A child of Tinomana, 
of Rarotonga, had four nurses, and he was a 
little monster. With this commencement, their 
subsequent training corresponded. I think 
these causes sufficient to account for the superi- 
ority of the chiefs, many of whom are certainly 
splendid specimens of human nature. 

Intellectual Capacities. It is a remark- 
able fact, that almost every race thinks itself the 
wisest. While, in the pride of mental superi- 
ority, civilized nations look upon barbarous 
tribes as almost destitute of intellect, these 
cherish the same sentiments towards them ; and 
even Britons have not been exempted from de- 
grading representations. So far back as the 
time of Cicero, we find evidence of the low esti- 
mate in which we have been held. In one of 
his epistles to his friend Atticus, the Roman 
orator recommends him not to obtain his slaves 
from Britain, because " they are so stupid, and 
utterly incapable of being taught, that they are 


unHt to form a part of the household of Atticus." 
At the present day, the Chinese do not form a 
much higher opinion, of our capacities ; and 
even with the South Sea Islanders, it is common 
to say, when they see a person exceedingly 
awkward, " How stupid you are ; perhaps you 
are an Englishman."* 

It Avill depend, however, upon the standard 
hy which we measure intellectual capacity, 
whether Ave pronounce the South Sea Islanders 
inferior to other races. If depth of thought and 
profundity of research he the only satisfactory 
evidences of superior minds, I shall yield the 
point at once. But if wit, ingenuity, quickness 
of perception, a tenacious memory, a thirst for 
knowledge when its value is perceived, a clear 
discernment and high appreciation of the useful ; 
readiness in acquiring new and valuable arts ; 
great precision and force in the expression of 
their thoughts, and occasional bursts of elo- 
quence of a high order, be evidence of intellect, I 
hesitate not to affirm, that, in these, the South Sea 
Islander does not rank below the European : 
and that many of them would, if they possessed 
equal advantages, rise to the same eminence as 
the literary and scientific men of our own land. 
An illustration or two of their mental capacity 
may not be inappropriate. 

Thefollowingincident will furnish an example 
of their wit and humour. A few years ago, a 
venerable and esteemed brother Missionary 
came to England, and, being rather bald, some 
kind friends provided him with a wig. Upon 
his return to the islands, the chiefs and others 
went on board to welcome him ; and, after the 
visual salutations, one of them said to the Mis- 
sionary, "You were bald when you left, and 
now you have a beautiful head of hair ; what 
amazing people the English are : how did they 
make your hair grow again 1" " You simple 
people," replied the Missionary, " how does 
everything grow % is it not by sowing seed \" 
They immediately shouted, " Oh, these English 
people! they sow seed upon a bald man's head 
to make the hair grow!" One shrewd fellow 
inquired whether he had brought any of the 
seed with him % The good Missionary carried 
on the joke for a short time, and then raised his 
wig. The revelation of his "original head" of 
course drew forth a roar of laughter, which was 
greatly increased, when one of the natives 
shouted to some of his countrymen who were 

near " Here, see Mr. , he has come from 

England with his head thatched ; he has come 
from England with his head thatched !" 

Of the pun they are very fond, and use it fre- 
quently. I could give numero-us examples of 
this : but the point of such witticisms is so much 
blunted by translation, that I think I should not 
do their authors justice by presenting them to 
the English reader. 

Their proverbs and similies, generally drawn 
from familiar objects, are often very striking and 

* They give us full credit for our superiority in some 
ther respects; but they laugh .U the awkwardness o( 

!ll"li-;limin In dhinor tluwft fliimrc !* *yl.inli n.,.. 


KiiL'lishmen in doing those things 
expert, such as elimhinir, swimmin; 
rubbing two sticks together, &c. 

t which they are so 
producing' fire by 

appropriate. Several of these have been fur- 
nished in the speeches introduced elsewhere ; 
but one or two others may be added. There is 
a fish, common in the tropics, called the aumea, 
which is remarkable for its large mouth and 
open gills. By the natives it is believed that 
the food seized by the former often passes out at 
the latter ; and, in allusion to this, a chief, when 
delivering an important commission, would say 
to the bearer, "Do not imitate the aumea;" 
and, when exhorting each other to a cordial and 
profitable reception of religious truth, they 
would frequently remark, " Do not let our re- 
ception of the word of life resemble the eating 
of the aumea, but let it sink into the heart." 
For several hours before a storm, a hollow roar 
upon the reef is the unerring indication of its 
approach ; and as soon as this is heard, the sea 
urchin, or echinus, prepares for the tempest, by 
crawling to a pktce of security, and fixing itself 
so firmly to the rock, that the bursting billows 
cannot detach it. The natives observing this, 
have a proverb, which, rendered literally, is, 
" The roaring of the sea, and the listening of 
the echini :" but in signification is similar to 
that of Solomon, "The prudent man foreseeth 
the evil, and hideth himself." A current ex- 
pression, in reference to any boast, display, or 
bluster, is E upaupa tuma ore ia, " That's a 
splendid thing without a foundation ;" alluding 
to the parasitical plants which abound in the 
islands. These are merely specimens of hun- 
dreds equally appropriate of the same class. 

The ingenuity of the natives is displayed in 
the fabrication of their cloth, the exquisite 
carving of their weapons and the construc- 
tion of their canoes, houses, fishing apparatus, 

Of their good se?ise, I have given a speci- 
men in page 13 : and will only mention 
another instance of it. I was standing one day 
by Tamatoa, when the fishing canoes returned 
with a quantity of salmon. These were depo- 
sited in his presence ; and one of the domestics, 
by his master's order, began to set apart a num- 
ber for the various chiefs, according to the usual 
custom. While he Avas doing this, a petty chief 
took a large fish from the pile ; on seeing 
which, the servant immediately seized it, and 
muttered something in a very groAvling tone of 
A'oice. Tamatoa noticed this, and asked the 
man Avhy he did so. " That felloAv," he replied, 
"refused to give me some bread-fruit the other 
day, and noAvhe comes to take our fish!" The 
king then ordered him to select two of the finest 
salmon, and give them cheerfully to the chief. 
The man grumbled, and, A r ery reluctantly, 
obeyed the order. Shortly afterwards, Tama- 
toa again called his servant, and said, " You 
foolish fellow, do you not perceive, that, by this 
act, the unkind ness of that man Avill be reproved, 
and that he Avill be ashamed to refuse you any- 
thing the next time you gol" I immediately 
turned to the king, and AA r hispered, "Why, you 
are as Avise as Solomon; for he says, 'If thine 
enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if 
he be thirsty, give him Avater to drink ; for thou 
shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.' " 




" True," he replied, " that's the way to conquer 

In eloquence they excel. I have not only 
seen all the passions of the human mind called 
into exercise, but have myself been so wrought 
upon by their addresses, as to forget where I 
was, aud in what I was engaged. Many speci- 
mens have already been given in their speeches ; 
and the concluding paragraph of the following 
prayer, which was offered up on the Sabbath 
prior to our embarkation for England, may be 
added to them. 

Having preached to a large congregation, and 
feeling rather exhausted, I called upon one of 
the members to engage in prayer, prior to the 
administration of the Lord's Supper ; and being 
delighted alike with the piety and beauty of his ex- 
pressions, I wrote them down, as soon as the ser- 
vice was concluded. He commenced by saying, 

" Oh God, the high and blessed Jehovah, we 
praise thee for all the goodness thou hast 
wrought towards us : and now that we are as- 
sembled round this table, do thou be with us. 
"While we see the bread broken in our presence, 
may the eye of the heart be looking at the body 
of the Lord Jesus as broken upon the cross for 
us ; and when we see the wine poured into the 
cup, may the ear of the heart be listening to the 
voice of the Lord Jesus, saying, * This cup is the 
new covenant in my blood which was shed for 
the remission of sins.' Let not what the 
apostle says be applicable to us ; never may we 
eat and drink condemnation to ourselves. For- 
bid that we should take nails, and fasten the 
Lord Jesus again to the cross ; once he has 
been put to pain for us ; may that suffice ; may 
we never take the spear of sin, and pierce again 
his side, thus crucifying him afresh, and putting 
him to an open shame. In partaking of this sacred 
feast, may our hearts be warmed, may our love 
to the Saviour be made greater, and may our 
faith be made stronger." 

He then prayed affectionately for his beloved 
Missionary and his family, and for the church, 
of which he had been a member twelve years ; 
and closed with the following beautiful petitions 
for us, who were to embark for England on the 
following morning : 

" Oh God, tell the winds about them, that 
they may not blow fiercely upon them ; com- 
mand the ocean concerning them, that it may 
not swallow them up ; conduct them in safety 
to their far distant country, and give them a 
happy meeting with their relatives, and then 
conduct them back again tj us ; but should we 
never meet again around the table of the Lord 
below, may we all meet around the throne of 
glory above." 

That the natives are anxious to obtain, and 
quick in receiving instruction, have been abun- 
dantly shown in the preceding narrative. I 
think it right, however, to remark, that while 
there is ample evidence of their having possessed 
good powers of mind, previous to the introduc- 
tion of Christianity, with that period a new era 
commenced, not only in their moral history, 
but also in their intellectual. The process of 
instruction under which they have been brought, 

the new wants and desires created by the sup- 
ply of knowledge, the excitement produced by a 
series of discoveries, many of which were so 
wonderful and sublime that they could not fail 
both to quicken and enlarge their faculties, and, 
above all, the elevating power of vital religion, 
have made them mentally, as well as spiritually, 
" new creatures in Christ Jesus." This has 
often appeared, in our evening conversations 
with the natives ; for the Missionary keeps open 
house, which, at the close of the day, is often a 
full house, so many come to ask questions and 
acquire knowledge ; but still more strikingly in 
their addresses and sermons. Perhaps no mi- 
nisters, even the most gifted, could select their 
illustrations or make their quotations with 
greater judgment and force. In the latter point, 
I have often been struck with their holy inge- 
nuity ; and perhaps I may be pardoned for 
giving the following instance of this excellence. 
A few weeks after I had taken leave of Raitea 
for England, I had occasion to return to that 
island ; and a short time subsequent to my arri- 
val, I found that a meeting had been convened 
which I was requested to attend. I knew not 
its object, until the king's speaker arose, and 
told me, that they had met to request me to 
abandon my intention of visiting England. 
After many interesting addresses, a chief arose, 
and with great gravity said, " Mr. Williams, I 
have been reading to day what Paul wrote to the 
Philippians, ' I am in a strait between two, 
having a desire to depart and be with Christ, 
which is far better ; nevertheless, to abide in the 
ilesh is more needful for you.' Now we all 
know that you must wish to see your friends, 
and visit your native country, after so long an 
absence ; this is very reasonable ; but don't you 
think, if Paul was willing to stay even out of 
heaven to do good to Christians on earth, that 
you ought to forego the pleasure of visiting 
England to do good to us %" This was a touch- 
ing appeal, and feeling it deeply, I replied by 
expressing my pleasure at receiving this proof 
of their affection, and promised, on revisiting 
Tahiti, to consult Mrs. W., and if we could not 
remain ourselves, to persuade one of our brother 
Missionaries to reside with them until our re- 
turn. I had no sooner made this declaration 
than another arose, and, after thanking me for 
promising to endeavour to find a substitute, 
exclaimed, " But although we have ten thou- 
sand instructors in Christ, we have not many 
fathers, for, in Christ Jesus, you have begotten 
us through the Gospel." 

Since the former sheets went to press, I have 
had an opportunity of conversing with an es- 
teemed brother Missionary, the Rev. "W. Med- 
hurst, who has laboured many years in Java, 
and he informs me that in the island of Ceram, 
there is a race of men which, from his descrip- 
tion, I find resembles the negro Polynesians ; 
that they build canoes by lashing them together 
as the South Sea Islanders do ; and that they 
exist as a distinct nation from the Malays, by 
whom they are caught and sold as slaves. 
These facts appear to countenance the hypothe- 
sis I have ventured to suggest. See page 131. 




The two Languages of the South Sea Islanders The 
eight Dialects of the Eastern Polynesians Comparison 
of each Dialect with the Tahitian Tabular view of the 
Differences between them Their Precision and Per- 
fection Nice distinctions in the Pronouns Causative 
Verb Pronunciation Introduction of New Words 
Government Power of the Chiefs Punishment of 
Theft Wars Their Frequency Weapons Cannibal- 
ism not practised by the Samoans Amusements. 

Language. The language is the next point 
which claims our attention. That of the Poly- 
nesian negroes differs from the dialects of East- 
ern Polynesia in one remarkable feature : which 
is, that in the former, many of the words and 
syllables terminate with a consonant, whereas 
in the latter, both the one and the other invari- 
ably end with a vowel. Of the first t know but 
little ; but with the other T am perfectly fami- 
liar, and to it therefore I shall confine my 

In this language there are eight dialects ; 
and, for the sake of clearness, I shall select the 
Tahitian as the standard, and compare the others 
with it. I do this, however, not because I think 
it is the original ; for the Hervey Island dialect 
appears to possess superior claims to that title, 
as it is so much more extensively spoken, and 
bears a closer affinity to the other dialects, than 
the Tahitian ; but because the latter was first 
reduced to system. The islanders who speak 
the different dialects of this language are, the 
Tahitian and Society, the Sandtoich, the Marque- 
san, the Austral, the Hervey, the Samoa, the 
Tongatabuans, and the New Zealanders. 

The Sandwich Island dialect differs from the 
Tahitian in the frequent introduction of the k 
and I, and the rejection of/, as in the following 
words : 

good. love. house. 

Tahitian. maitai aroha fare 
Hawaiian. maikai alofa fale 

The Marquesan differs from the Tahitian in 
admitting the k, and rejecting the r, without 
supplying its place ; as 

Tahitian. maitai aroha fare 
Marquesan. motaki aofa fae 

The Austral islanders, including Rurutu, Rai- 
vavae, Tupuai, and Rimatara Islands, situated 
about four hundred miles south of Tahiti, have 
a distinction of their own, but have been taught 
to use the Tahitian Scriptures, which they read 
fluently, and understand as well as if written in 
their own tongue. The peculiarity of this dia- 
lect appears in the rejection of the / and h, 
without supplying any substitutes ; and, trifling 
as this may appear, the difference of sound it 
occasions is amazing. 

maitai aroha fare faahou 
maitai aroa are aaou 

The Hervey Island dialect is spoken, not only 
throughout that group, but at the Maniki group, 
to which Puna, the native Missionary,was drifted ; 
r.nd by the Paumotus, even as far up as Gam- 
bier's Islands. This differs very little from the 



dialect of New Zealand. The Hervey or Rara- 
tonga dialect is distinguished from the Tahitian 
by two peculiarities ; in the first place, by the 
rejection of the/" and h; and, secondly, by the 
introduction of the k and nga. There are also 
two other peculiarities in the Tahitian a re- 
markable break or separating catch, when two 
vowels come together, and a hard sound. These 
are supplied in the Rarotonga by the k and nga; 
as, for example, va'a, canoe, becomes in that 
dialect, vaka; and aro, lost, becomes ngaro. 

Tahitian. maitai aroha fare maa 

Rahotongan. meitaki aroa are manga. 

The Samoa dialect differs from the Tahitian 
in exchanging the r for the I, and the h for the s. 

It also adopts the nasal sound, and rejects the 
k. The frequent use of the f, s, and I, renders 
the Samoa dialect peculiarly soft and melliflu- 
ous ; much more so, indeed, than any other of 
the dialects. This is the only dialect in which 
the sibilant is used. 

The Tongatabu differs from the Tahitian in 
rejecting the r, and introducing the I and k; 
and from all the other dialects by the use of the 
j. In the latter point it becomes somewhat 
assimilated to the Fiji language. The Tonga 
dialect is spoken at the Hapai and Vavau groups, 
and at many of the adjacent islands. 

The New Zealand is the eighth dialect of this 
language. In its leading peculiarities it agrees 
with the Rarotonga; indeed, the only difference 
is, that the New Zealanders retain the h, which 
the Raratongans reject. A few words perhaps 
in each of the dialects will enable the reader to 
trace their affinity. ( 'See List in following page.) 

The pronouns in seven of the dialects are the 
same ; but in that of Tongatabu they differ ma- 
terially from the others, and bear a greater 
affinity to the Fiji. 

That a language spoken by savages should be 
supposed to be defective in many respects, could 
not create surprise ; but the fact is contrary to 
all we might have anticipated, that the Polyne- 
sian dialects are remmarkably rich, admit of a 
great variety of phraseology, abound in turns of 
peculiar nicety, and are spoken with strict con- 
formity to the most precise grammatical princi- 
ples. Of this I shall furnish a few examples. 
In the first place, the Polynesians employ three 
numbers, the singular, the dual, and the plural, 
with which the inflexions of their verbs agree. 




To speak 




To do 




Their pronouns are beautifully complete, 
having several remarkable and valuable dis- 
tinctions unknown to us. An instance is found 
in what we may term the inclusive and exclusive 
pronouns : for example, in English, we say, " It 
is time for us to go ;" and the expression may 
or may not include the person addressed. Now, 
in the Polynesian dialects there are two pro- 
nouns which mark this difference, matou and 
tatou. If the person spoken to is one of the party 
going, the tatou would be used ; if not, the ma- 



tou. A short time since I was dining at Bath, 
when the lady of the house desired the servant 
to hring a plate, and, politely addressing me, 
said, " Put your bones upon the plate, Sir." 
Now, common as this expression is, it is cer- 
tainly rather ambiguous. In the language of 
the Polynesians, however, there would be no 
such ambiguity, for they have two pronouns to 
express the difference, tooe and taoe ; the former 
of which would be used, if my own bones were 
meant ; and the latter, if those of the pheasant 
of which I had been partaking. 





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There is also a causative verb, as matau, 
fear; haa matau, to make afraid; mat an hia, 
to be feared ; Aoa matau hia, to cause to be 

The distinction of sounds, also, is very deli- 
cate, and has occasionally placed the Missionary 
in rather awkward circumstances. On one 
occasion, an excellent brother was preaching for 
me, and, happening to aspirate a word which 
ought not to be aspirated, he addressed the peo- 
ple as beloved savages, instead of beloved bre- 
thren. Notwithstanding this, no person speaks 
incorrectly, and we never hear such violations 
of grammar and pronunciation as are common 
in England. 

There are but fourteen or fifteen letters in 
any of the dialects of this language ; and as we 
spell the word precisely as it is pronounced, no 
difficulty is experienced in teaching the children 
spelling. All we have to do is to instruct them 
in the sounds of the letters, and when these are 
acquired, they spell the longest words with ease. 
As the natives are never at a loss to express 
their thoughts or emotions, or to describe any 
of the qualities of matter with which they are 
acquainted, we have been obliged, in effecting 
our translations, to introduce but few new 
terms. These principally relate to the ordi- 
nances of the Christian religion, and to articles 
and ideas unknown prior to their intercourse 
with Europeans. Before admitting a new word, 
we have generally considered whether it could 
be Polynesianized ; that is, whether vowels 
could be inserted between every two consonants 
without destroying its identity ; and, secondly, 
whether any terms exist in the native tongiie 
with which it was likely to be confounded. 
When we could adopt English words, we pre- 
ferred doing so ; but these cannot be accommo- 
dated to the South Sea dialects so easily as 
words from the Greek. Of this the term horse 
may afford an illustration. This, by the intro- 
duction of vowels, so entirely loses its identity, 
that horse would become horeti ; but as the 
omission of one p and the s from the Greek 
word hippos gives us hipo, we adopt that word, 
because it harmonizes with the language, can be 
easily pronounced by the natives, and retains a 
sufficient resemblance to the original to preserve 
its identity. Arcnio for lamb, and areto for 
bread, are examples of the same kind. In desig- 
nating baptism, to avoid all disputes, we have 
adopted the original, baptizo. These phrases 
are very soon understood by the people ; for they 
are not only referred to in our discourses, 
and explained daily in our schools, but the 
natives themselves are constantly conveying such 
information from one to another. 

Government. The governments of the va- 
rious islands present many points of resemblance, 
but almost every group has some peculiarities. 
At Tongatabu, the chiefs are elected and their 
power limited ; while at the surrounding islands, 
they are hereditary and despotic. At the Sa- 
moas every settlement is a little independent 
state, governed by its own chief or chiefs, who 
did not appear to me to possess very extensive 
authority. Indeed, I was informed, that, if a 
chief was oppressive, it was not an unfrequent 
occurrence for the tribe to assemble, and con- 
demn him to death. In this case, his son, or 
some other relative, was generally nominated 



as his successor. During war an aged chieftain 
was appointed both to preside in their councils 
and to act as generalissimo. 

There appears to be no principal chief exer- 
cising kingly authority over the whole group, as 
at the Society and other islands, unless Tama- 
fainga, whose office was in many respects pecu- 
liar, might be so considered. Yet a power of 
this kind must have been vested somewhere ; 
for a montli or two prior to my arrival, an influ- 
ential chief, who had endeavoured to excite a 
war, was put to death, after a regular trial. 
This trial lasted three days ; and the execution 
took place on the day after it was terminated. 
I suppose the authority in such cases to have 
been vested in Malietoa and others ; for imme- 
diately after this event, the whole tribe came to 
Sapapalii, each carrying a stick of firewood, a 
stone, and some leaves : and on arriving in front 
of Malietoa's dwelling, they prostrated them- 
selves, and held out the token of their submis- 
sion. The chief then ordered them to arise, 
and cast away these emblems of their degrada- 
tion ; and having done this, they entered his 
house, kissed his feet, and, after receiving assur- 
ances of pardon, presented cloth and mats as 
an atonement, and returned home. As wood, 
stones, and leaves are used in preparing the 
native ovens, they may have been designed to 
signify that the culprits were at the mercy of the 
chief, and that they had brought the materials 
with which they might be baked, if he com- 
manded it ; or the act may have been intended 
simply to intimate that they were his slaves, to 
cook his food, and perform his servile work. 
The custom prevails also, with a slight varia- 
tion, both at Tongatabu and the Fiji Islands. 

Thieving is punished so severely at the Sa- 
moas that it is seldom practised among them- 
selves ; but they have no scruples or fears in 
pilfering from ships and foreigners. A very 
important distinction, however, exists between 
the malo and vaivai, or the victorious and the 
vanquished. The former, or Aveak ones, gene- 
rally " go to the wall," and their settlements are 
plundered almost at discretion by the stronger 

Wars. The wars at the Navigators group 
were exceedingly frequent. Of this some idea 
may be formed by the following circumstance. 
The island of Aborima was the national fort- 
ress of the people of Manono. These, although 
ignorant of the art of writing, kept an account 
of the number of battles they had fought by 
depositing a stone, of a peculiar form, in a 
basket, which was very carefully fastened to the 
ridge pole of a sacred house for that purpose. 
This was let down, and the stones were counted 
when I was there, and the number was one hun- 
dred and ninety -seven ! How much does such a 
people need that Gospel which alone can subdue 
the fierce passions of our nature, and cause wars 
to cease from the ends of the earth ! In these 
conflicts the club, the jagged spear, and the 
sling were their usual weapons; but the bow 
does not appear to have been used in their bat- 
tles. The accompanying plate will give an idea 
of the instruments of war used at these and 

other islands. The Samoans are exceedingly 
expert in hurling the spear, as the following in- 
cident will evince. Matetau was one day on 
board a ship, when the captain wished him to 
aim at a ring, about four or five inches in di- 
ameter, which he had made on the foresail. The 
chief took his station on the quarter-deck, about 
eighty feet from the spot, poised his spear for a 
moment or two, and then darted it through the 
centre of the ring. 

Although not addicted to cannibalism, which 
they speak of with great horror and detestation, 
the wars of the Samoans were exceedingly cruel. 
That which raged during my first visit, continued 
with unabated fury for several months ; and 
when it terminated, many of the vanquished 
party were thrown indiscriminately into large 
fires. During this distressing period, the native 
Missionaries informed me that canoes were con- 
stantly arriving with the remains of those who 
had fallen in the contest ; and that on these oc- 
casions the dismal howlings and lamentations 
of the relatives, their frantic behaviour, the 
frightful lacerations they inflicted upon them- 
selves with shells and sharks' teeth, together 
with the horrid appearance of the victims, kept 
them in a state of intense excitement and dis- 
tress. The extent of the desolation produced 
by their conflicts may be estimated by the cir- 
cumstance, that I sailed along the beautiful 
coast of Ana, the seat of war, about eleven 
months after its termination, and did not observe 
a house or an inhabitant for at least ten miles. 

Paraifara, whom I met at Manua, informed us 
that they scalp their victims, and present the 
scalp, with some ava, either to the king or to 
the relatives of those who have fallen in battle, 
by whom it is highly prized. A circumstance 
of this kind occurred in the Avar already referred 
to. A scalp was brought to a young woman 
whose father had been killed. This she burnt, 
and having beat it to powder, she strewed the 
ashes upon the fire with which she cooked her 
food, and devoured the meat with savage satis- 
faction. To so great an extent is the principle 
of revenge carried in all the islands of the 
Pacific ! How truly benign the spirit of the 
Gospel appears when contrasted with such a 
system, and what a happy world ours would be 
if all mankind were under its blessed influence ! 
Amusements. Aware of the volatile disposi- 
tion cf the Samoa islanders, we were not sur- 
prised to find that a considerable portion of their 
time and attention was devoted to games and 
pastimes. These they appear to enjoy amazingly ; 
and to this, perhaps, their comparative freedom 
from care may greatly contribute : for, while 
millions in other lands are racked with intense 
anxiety as to what they shall eat, what they 
shall drink, and wherewithal they shall be 
clothed, the light-hearted Samoan scarcely gives 
these things a thought ; and, while civilized man 
is undermining the very foundations of the 
earth, and traversing the ocean for years to- 
gether, in voluntary exile from country and 
home, exploring all regions and braving all 
climes to obtain food and raiment, the Samoan 
plucks, at pleasure, a few leaves from his trees 















































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55 [3 





and makes a garment ; gathers some bread- 
fruit from his luxuriant grove; spends an hour 
or two in catching the fish which swarm his 
shores ; and thus, without care or exertion, ob- 
tains that for which others labour and groan. 
Thus, free from solicitude, he spends his days 

in mirth. Wrestling, boxing, club-fighting, 
canoe-rowing, fowling, and dancing, are their 
favourite pastimes ; but as minute descriptions 
of these have been furnished by Captain Cook, 
Mr. Ellis, and others, I shall dismiss them with 
one or two passing observations. The evening 



dance of the Samoans is their principal amuse- 
ment, when songs are sung which were previ- 
ously composed and set to music by the women. 
These are sometimes poetical. The following 
is an average specimen : 
' Viotaulua* has risen ; Taulua\ also has risen ; 

But the war-star has ceased to rise 

For SulueleeleA with the king, has embraced the sacred 

And war has become a set. I 
These compositions, weaving chaplets of flow- 

ers, and forming other decorations, with which 
to appear at the evening exhibitions, furnish 
the females with much employment. 

The social habits of the Samoa islanders, 
their diseases, their surgery, their method of 
embalming, their manufactures, marriage cere- 
monies, and a variety of similar topics, I am 
obliged to pass over for the present. The Plates 
which are here introduced will give an idea of 
the articles they manufacture. 

A c;>]> from AUutal.i, worn formerly by the master of 

the chief judge 

The comb is made of the stem of the cocoa- 
nut leaflet. 

The fish-hooks are made from bone, mother- 
of-pearl, turtle-shell, &c. 

The Samoa basket is made from the palm- 
leaf, or pandanus odoratissbmis. 

That from Tonga, of a more substantial ma- 
terial, called kiekie. 

But although we must omit much that is 
interesting, there are a few points in which the 
Samoans differ so materially from their bre- 
thren, that an observation upon them seems 
necessary. One of these is the practice of pur- 
chasing their wives. One young woman was 
introduced to me, for whom her husband gave 

Names of stars. t King's daughter. 

J An evil thing. 

the ceremonies at the nativo dances ; but now, l>> 

of the island. 

the amazing price of upwards of two hundred 
pigs, besides a quantity of siapo or native cloth. 

The system adopted when a person has several 
wives, is to allow each to enjoy in rotation three 
days' supremacy ; and this arrangement is so 
well understood by them, that there is com- 
paratively little quarrelling among the numerous 
sharers of the husband's affections. 

The modes they adopt to ornament their per- 
sons are peculiar. Pew of the women were 
tatooed, but many of them were spotted. This 
is what they call sengisengi, and is effected by 
raising small blisters with a wick of native cloth, 
which burns, but does not blaze. "When these 
are healed, they leave the spot a shade lighter 
than the original skin. Thus indelible devices 
are imprinted. They adopt this method at the 



Samoas, and tatooing at other islands, to per- 
petuate the memory of some important event, 
or beloved and departed relative. Tepo, of 
Rarotonga, whose figure was given in the fron- 
tispiece of a former edition of this Narrative, had 
himself tatooed as he is there represented, in 
consequence of the death of his ninth child. 

The inhabitants of almost every group, how- 
ever, have their peculiar ideas as to what con- 
stitutes an addition to beauty. In the Solo- 
mon's Islands the natives pierce the sides of 
their noses, and introduce rings made of turtle 
shell. I saw a man from this group, who had 
upwards of twenty of these hanging from his 
nose. At the Austral group, they are famous 
for boring their ears, and introducing pieces of 
stick and other substances, size after size, until 
the hole becomes an inch or an inch and a half 
in diameter. In the Tahitian and Society 
Islands, from the moment of the child's birth, 
the mothers were constantly employed in per- 
forming two operations ; the one was compress- 
ing the forehead and back part of the head, to 
give it a flat rather than an elongated shape ; 
and the other was flattening the nose ; both of 
which, in their estimation, added much to the 
beauty of the person. The natives have frequently 
said to me, "What a pity it is that English 
mothers pull the children's noses so much, and 
make them so frightfully long." 

Bamboo pillow . 


Mangaia club. 

Samoa basket. 


Tonga basket. 




Religions of the Polynesians Difference between the 
Superstitions of the Samoans and other Islanders 
Objects of Worship Deitied Ancestors Dedication of 
Children The Christian and Heathen Mother Idols 
Etus Tangaloa Modes of Worship Invocations 
Mutilations Human Sacrifices Occasions for which 
they were required Mode of procuring them Affect- 
ing Incidents Future State Terms of Admission to 
their Paradise Cruel Kite of the Fijians Prevalence 
of Infanticide Illustrations of this Contrast between 
the former and present state of the Children Scene at 
School Anniversary Recovery of a Daughter Alleged 
Reasons for Infanticide Method of performing it- 
Necessity for, and Power of the Gospel. 

Religion. The religious system of the Sa- 
moans differs essentially from that which ob- 
tained at the Tahitian, Society, and other islands 
with which we are acquainted. They have 
neither maraes, nor temples, nor altars, nor 
offerings ; and consequently, none of the bar- 
barous and sanguinary rites observed at the 
other groups. In consequence of this, the Sa- 
moans were considered an impious race, and 
their impiety became proverbial with the people 
of Rarotonga ; * for, when upbraiding a person 
who neglected the worship of the gods, they 
would call him " a godless Samoan." But, al- 
though heathenism was presented to us by the 
Samoans in a dress different from that in which 
we had been accustomed to see it, having no 
altars stained with human blood, no maraes, 
strewed with the skulls and bones of its nume- 
rous victims, no sacred groves devoted to rites 
of which brutality and sensuality were the most 
obvious features, this people had " lords many 
and gods many ; " their religious system was 
as obviously marked as any other with absur- 
dity, superstition, and vice ; and its followers 
stand as much in need of the Gospel as the 
cannibal New Zealander, who feasts on the 
quivering limbs of his victim, or the infatuated 
Tahitian, whose gods were gorged with the 
blood of the sacrifices which were presented 
upon their altars. When, however, we consider 
the importance which the Tahitians and Ra- 
rotongans attached to their idols, maraes, and 
religious ceremonies, and the intimate manner 
in which these were interwoven with their 
political, civil, and social institutions, we can- 
not wonder that they should regard those as 
impious, whose worship was destitute of such 

In order, however, to furnish a sketch of the 
religion of the Polynesians as correct and com- 
prehensive as my limits will permit . shall offer 
some observations upon four points : their gods ; 
the nature of their worship ; their ideas of a fu- 
ture state : and the means they adopt to secure 
final happiness. 

The objects worshipped by them were of three 
kinds their deified ancestors, their idols, and 
their etus. Many of their ancestors were deified 
for conferring supposed benefits upon mankind. 
It was believed, for example, that the world was 
formerly in darkness ; but that one of their pro- 

This is an additional proof that intercourse existed 
between them prior to their acquaintance with Europeans. 

genitors, by a most absurd process, created the 
sun, moon, and stars. For this he was wor- 
shipped, until the light of Christianity dawned 
upon them, and revealed the Maker of all 

Another tradition stated that the heavens 
were originally so close to the earth that men 
could not walk, but were compelled to crawl. 
This was a serious evil ; but, at length, an in- 
dividual conceived the sublime idea of elevating 
the heavens to a more convenient height. For 
this purpose, he put forth his utmost energy ; 
and, by the first effort, raised them to the top of 
a tender plant, called teve, about four feet high. 
There he deposited them until he was refreshed ; 
when, by a second effort, he lifted them to the 
height of a tree called kauariki, which is as 
large as the sycamore. By the third attempt 
he carried them to the summits of the moun- 
tains ; and, after a long interval of repose, and 
by a most prodigious effort, he elevated them to 
their present situation. This vast undertaking, 
however, was greatly facilitated by myriads of 
dragon hies, which, with their wings, severed 
the cords that confined the heavens to the earth. 
Now this individual was deified ; and up to the 
moment that Christianity was embraced, the 
deluded inhabitants worshipped him as " the 
Elevator of the heavens." 

Besides this class, they had the god of the 
fisherman, of the husbandman, of the voyager *, 
of the thief, and of the warrior. All these are 
said to have been men who were deified on ac- 
count of their eminence in such avocations. 
Many mothers dedicated their children to one 
of these deities, but principally to Hiro, the 
god of thieves, and to Oro, the god of war. If 
to the former, the mother, while pregnant, went 
to the marae with the requisite offerings, when 
the priest performed the ceremony of catching 
the spirit of the god, Avith the snare previously 
described, and infusing it into the child even 
prior to its birth, that it might become a clever 
and desperate thief. Most parents, however, 
were anxious that their children should become 
brave and renowned warriors. This appears to 
have been the very summit of a heathen mother's 
ambition, and, to secure it, numerous ceremonies 
were performed before the child was born ; and 
after its birth it was taken to the marae, and 
formally dedicated to Oro. The spirit of the 
god was then caught, and imparted to the in- 
fant, and the ceremony was completed by nume- 
rous offerings and prayers. At New Zealand, 
stones were thrust down the throat of the babe, 
to give it a stony heart, and make it a dauntless 
and desperate warrior. 

How striking the contrast between the feel- 
ings and wishes of the Christian and the heathen 
mother ! The one devotes her babe to the God 
of love and mercy ; the other dedicates hers to 
the god of murder, or of fraud ; the one would 
give her infant a heart of stone ; the other prays 
that it may receive a heart of flesh. Who hath 
made us to differ, and what thanks does he de- 
mand '. Every hour should witness our devoted- 
ness, and every passing breeze should be loaded 
* See description of idols, p. 29. 



with our praises to Him, whose gracious hand 
has fixed the hounds of our habitation, and 
spread open before us the volume of his truth. 
" The lines," indeed, " are fallen to us in plea- 
sant places ; we have a goodly heritage." And 
can we better express our gratitude, than by ef- 
forts to enrich others with the blessings which 
we ourselves so fully enjoy "? If Christians 
would but estimate the extent of their obliga- 
tions by the magnitude of their mercies, " the 
earth would soon be filled with the knowledge 
of the Lord." 

Idols formed the second clas3 of objects re- 
garded with religious veneration. These were 
different in almost every island and district. I 
do not recollect to have seen two precisely simi- 
lar representations of the same deity, except 
those placed on the fishing canoes. Some were 
large, and some were small ; some were beauti- 
ful, while others were exceedingly hideous. The 
god-makers do not appear to have followed any 
pattern, but were left to display their folly ac- 
cording to their own fancy ; and " professing 
themselves to be wise, they became fools, and 
changed the glory of the incorruptible God into 
an image, made like to corruptible man, and 
to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping 

The third object of worship was the etu, the 
nature of which I have already described. It 
consisted of some bird, fish, or reptile, in which 
the natives believed that a spirit, resided. This 
form of idolatry prevailed much more at the Sa- 
moas than at any other islands. There, innu- 
merable objects were regarded as etna, and many 
of them were exceedingly mean. It was by no 
means uncommon to see an intelligent chief 
muttering some prayer to a fly, an ant, or a li- 
zard, which happened to alight or crawl in his 
presence. On one occasion a vessel from New 
South Wales touched at the Samoas, the captain 
of which had on board a cockatoo that talked. 
A chief was invited to the ship, and shortly after- 
he entered the cabin the captain began a collo- 
quy with the bird. At this he was struck with 
amazement, trembled exceedingly, and immedi- 
ately sprang upon deck, leaped into the sea, and 
called aloud to the people to follow him, affirm- 
ing the captain had his devolo on board, which 
he had both seen and heard. Every native 
dashed at once into the sea, and swam on shore 
with haste and consternation ; and it was with 
much difficulty that they could be induced to 
revisit the ship, as they believed that the bird 
was the captain's etu, and that the spirit of the 
devil was in it. While walking, on one occa- 
sion, across a small uninhabited island, in the 
vicinity of Tongatabu, I happened to tread 
upon a nest of sea-snakes. At first I was 
startled at the circumstance, hut being assured 
that they were perfectly harmless, I desired a 
native to kill the largest of them as a specimen. 
We then sailed to another island, where a num- 
ber of heathen fishermen were preparing their 
nets. Taking my seat upon a stone under a tou 
tree, I desired my people to bring the reptile, and 
dry it on the rocks ; but as soon as the fisher- 
men saw it, they raised a most terrific yell, and, 

seizing their clubs, rushed upon the Christian 
natives, shouting, " You have killed our god, 
you have killed our god!" I stepped in be- 
tween them, and with some difficulty stayed 
their violence, on the condition that the reptile 
should be immediately carried back to the boat. 
This incident shows, not only that they worship 
these things, but that they regard them with the 
most superstitious veneration. Thus " they feed 
on ashes ; a deceived heart hath turned them 
aside ; they cannot deliver their souls, nor say, 
Is there not a lie in our right hand"!" What 
an unspeakable privilege, to know the only true 
Cod in all his glorious perfections; and, when 
comparing him with the contemptible deities of 
the heathen, to be able, unpresumptuously to 
say, " And this God is our God, for ever and 

In addition to these objects of adoration, the 
islanders generally, and the Samoans in parti- 
cular, had a vague idea of a Supreme Being, 
whom they regarded as the creator of all things, 
and the author of their mercies. They call him 
Tangaloa ; and I was informed that, at their 
great feasts, prior to the distribution of the food, 
an orator arose, and, after enumerating each 
article, exclaimed, " Thank * you, great Tan- 
galoa, for this!" This idea of a Supreme Be- 
ing appears among the few remaining traces of 
the great original truths which were too deeply 
fixed in the mind, and too widely spread amongst 
the tribes of man, to be wholly lost. What an 
apostolic employment and privilege has the in- 
dividual who goes forth to such a people with 
the announcement, "Whom ye therefore igno- 
rantly worship, Him declare I unto you!" 

The worship presented to these deities con- 
sisted in prayers, incantations, and offerings of 
pigs, fish, vegetable food, native cloth, canoes, 
and other valuable property. To these must be 
added, human sacrifices, which, at some of the 
islands, were fearfully common. An idea may 
be formed of their addresses to the gods from 
the sentence with which they invariably con- 
cluded. Having presented the gift, the priest 
would say, " Now, if you are a god of mercy; 
come this way, and be propitious to this offer- 
ing ; but, if you are a god of anger, go outside 
the world, you shall neither have temples, offer- 
ings, nor worshippers here." The infliction of 
injuries upon themselves, was another mode in 
which they worshipped their gods. It was a 
frequent practice with the Sandwich islanders, 
in performing some of their rites, to knock out 
their front teeth ; and the Friendly islanders, 
to cut off one or two of the bones of their little 
fingers. This, indeed, was so common, that 
scarce an adult could be found who had not in 
this way mutilated his hands. On one occasion 
the daughter of a chief, a fine young woman 
about eighteen years of age, was standing by 
my side, and as I saw by the state of the wound 
that she had recently performed the ceremony, 
I took her hand, and asked her why she had cut 

* This is the only group of islands we visited where 
the natives have a word tor " Thank you." Neither at 
the Sandwich, Tahitian, or Hcrvey group, have they 
any such expression. 



off her finger 1 Her affecting reply was, that 
her mother was ill, and that, fearful lest her 
mother should die, she had done this to induce 
the gods to save her. " Well," I said, " how 
did you do it!" " Oh," she replied, " I took 
a sharp shell, and worked it ahout till the joint 
was separated, and then I allowed the blood to 
stream from it. This was my offering to per- 
suade the gods to restore my mother." When, 
at a future period, another offering is required, 
they sever the second joint of the same ringer ; 
and when a third or a fourth is demanded, they 
amputate the same bones of the other little 
finger ; and when they have no more joints 
which they can conveniently spare, they rub the 
stumps of their mutilated fingers with rough 
stones, until the blood again streams from the 
wound. Thus " are their sorrows multiplied 
who hasten after other gods." 

But the most affecting and horrible of their 
religious observances was that of presenting hu- 
man victims. 

This system did not prevail at the Naviga- 
tors ; but at the Hervey group, and still more 
at the Tahitian and Society Islands, it was car- 
ried to an extent truly appalling. There was 
one ceremony called Rawnatavehi raa, the feast 
of Restoration, at which no less than seven hu- 
man victims were always required. This festi- 
val was celebrated after an invading army had 
driven the inhabitants to the mountains, and 
had desecrated the marae by cutting down the 
branches of the sacred trees, and cooking their 
food with them, and with the wooden altars 
and decorations of the sacred place. As soon 
as the retirement of the invaders allowed the 
refugees to leave their hiding-place, their first 
object was to celebrate this " Feast of Restora- 
tion," which was supposed to restore the marae 
to its previous sanctity, and to reinstate the god 
in his former glory. 

A few years ago, I sent to England a very 
sacred relic called Maro ura, or the red sash. 
This was a piece of network, about seven inches 
wide and six feet long, upon which the red 
feathers of the paroquet were neatly fastened 
It was used at the inauguration of their greater 
kings, just as the crown is with us, and the most 
honourable appellation which a chief could re- 
ceive was, Arii maro ura, " King of the Red 
Sash." A new piece, about eighteen inches in 
length, was attached at the inauguration of every 
sovereign ; to accomplish which several human 
victims were required. The first was for the 
mau raa titi, or the stretching it upon pegs in 
order to attach it to the new piece. Another 
was necessary for the fatu raa, or attaching the 
new portion ; and a third for the piu raa, or 
twitching the sacred relic off the pegs. This not 
only invested the sash itself with a high measure 
of solemn importance, but also rendered the 
chiefs who wore it most noble in public estima- 
tion. On the eve of war, also, human victims 
were invariably offered. Perhaps a correct idea 
of this dreadful system may be suggested by a 
brief relation of the circumstances under which 
the very last Tahitian victim was slain, and pre- 
sented to the gods. Pomare was about to fight 

a battle which would confirm him in, or deprive 
him of, his dominions. To propitiate the gods, 
therefore, by the most valuable offerings he could 
command, was with him an object of the highest 
concern. For this purpose, rolls of native cloth, 
pigs, fish, and immense quantities of other food, 
were presented at the maraes ; but still a tabu, 
or sacrifice, was demanded. Pomare, therefore, 
sent two of his messengers to the house of the 
victim, whom he had marked for the occasion. 
On reaching the place, they inquired of the wife 
where her husband was. She replied, that he 
was in such a place, planting bananas. " Well," 
they continued, " we are thirsty, give us some 
cocoa-nut water." She told them that she had 
no nuts in the house, but that they were at li- 
berty to climb the trees, and take as many as 
they desired. They then requested her to lend 
them the o, which is a piece of iron-wood, about 
four feet long, and an inch and a half in diame- 
ter, with which the natives open the cocoa-nut. 
She cheerfully complied with their wishes, little 
imagining that she was giving them the instru- 
ment which, in a few moments, was to inflict a 
fatal blow upon the head of her husband. Upon 
receiving the o, the men left the house, and 
went in search of their victim ; and the woman, 
having become rather suspicious, followed them 
shortly after, and reached the place just in time 
to see the blow inflicted, and her husband fall. 
She rushed forward to give vent to her agonized 
feelings, and take a last embrace ; but she was 
immediately seized, and bound hand and foot, - 
while the body of her murdered husband was 
placed in a long basket made of cocoa-nut leaves, 
and borne from her sight. It appears that they 
were always exceedingly careful to prevent the 
wife, or daughter, or any female relative from 
touching the corpse, for so polluting were fe- 
males considered, that a victim would have been 
desecrated, by a woman's touch or breath, to 
such a degree as to have rendered it unfit for an 
offering to the god&. While the men were car- 
rying their victim to the marae, he recovered 
from the stunning effect of the blow, and, bound 
as he was in the cocoa-nut leaf basket, he said 
to his murderers, " Friends, I know what you 
intend to do with me, you are about to kill me, 
and offer me as a tabic to your savage gods ; and 
I also know that it is useless for me to beg for 
mercy, for you will not spare my life. You may 
kill my body ; but you cannot hurt my soul ; for 
I have begun to pray to Jesus, the knowledge 
of whom the Missionaries have brought to our 
island : you may kill my body, but you cannot 
hurt my soul." Instead of being moved to com- 
passion by his affecting address, they laid him 
down upon the ground, placed a stone under 
his head, and, with another, beat it to pieces. 
In this state they carried him to their " savage 
gods." I forbear to make any comment upon 
these facts, and leave them to find tKeir own 
way to the hearts of my readers, and show 
them how much the heathen need the Gospel. 
One of the assassins, whose business it was to 
procure human sacrifices, sailed with me in my 
last voyage, and not only confirmed the forego- 
ing statement, but detailed many other transac- 


tions equally tragical, in which he had been en- 
gaged. But painful as the incident is, it is a 
relief to know that this was the very last sacri- 
fice ever offered to the gods 01 Tahiti ; for soon 
after it occurred, Christianity was embraced, 
and the altars of the " savage gods" ceased to 
be stained with human blood. I may also add, 
that this individual was selected because, to use 
his own simple phrase, he had " begun to pray 
to Jesus ;" and perhaps it is not too much to 
hope, that while his mangled body was being 
presented to the sanguinary gods, his spirit was 
entering into the presence of that Saviour, to 
whom, amidst much ignorance, he had begun 
to pray. " Whosoever calleth upon the name 
of the Lord, shall be saved." 

The manner in which human victims were 
sought is strikingly illustrative of many passages 
of Scripture which portray the character of hea- 
thenism. As soon as the priest announced that 
such a sacrifice was required, the king despatched 
messengers to the chiefs of the various districts ; 
and upon entering the dwelling they would in- 
quire whether the chief had a broken calabash at 
hand, or a rotten cocoa-nut. These and similar 
terms were invariably used, and well understood, 
when such applications were made. It gene- 
rally happened that the chief had some individual 
on his premises whom he intended to devote to 
this horrid purpose. "When, therefore, such a 
request was made, he would notify, by a motion 
of the hand or bead the individual to be taken. 
The only weapon with which these procurers of 
sacrifices were armed was a small round stone 
concealed in the hollow of their hand. "With 
this they would strike their victim a stunning 
blow upon the back of the head, when others 
who were in readiness would rush in and com- 
plete the horrid work. The body was then 
carried, amid songs and shouts of savage triumph, 
to the marae, there to be offered to the gods. 
At other times, the king's gang of desperadoes 
would arm themselves with spears, surround the 
house of their victim, and enjoy the sport of 
spearing him through the apertures between the 
poles which encircled the house. In these cir- 
cumstances, the object of their savage amuse- 
ment, frenzied with pain and dread, would rush 
from one part of the house to the other ; but 
wherever he ran he found the spear entering his 
body ; and at length, perceiving no possibility 
of escape, he would cover himself in his cloth, 
throw himself upon the floor, and wait until a 
spear should pierce his heart. There were 
various other occasions, besides those I have 
named, on which victims were presented ; and 
the same system prevailed with but little diver- 
sity in all the Hervey Islands. At Rarotonga, 
two human victims were invariably offered at 
the birth of the son of a principal chief. 

Another circumstance which rendered this 
practice still more dreadful was, that as soon as 
one of the family had been selected, all the 
other male members of it were looked upon as 
devoted to the same horrid purpose. It would 
avail them nothing if they removed te another 
island ; for the reason of their removal would 
soon be known there ; and, whenever a sacrifice 

was required, it would be sought amongst them. 
I had in my own service an individual who was 
the last of his family, cf which every other male 
member had been offered in sacrifice, and he 
had been eight times hunted in the mountains 
with dogs ; but, being a cunning fellow and an 
extraordinary runner, he had eluded his pur- 
suers until the inhabitants of his island embraced 
the Gospel, and the " gods were famished out of 
the land." 

These very people, who, a few years ago, 
were addicted to all these horrid practices, now 
sit by thousands in places of Christian worship, 
erected by themselves, clothed, and in their 
right mind, and listen with intense interest to 
the truths of the Gospel. A spectacle more 
truly sublime it is scarcely possible for the 
human mind to contemplate. 

The ideas of & future state which the Polyne- 
sians had formed were very peculiar. They 
believed in its existence, but were ignorant of 
the value and immortality of the soul, and knew 
not that eternity would be the measure of its 
sorrows or its joys. The Tahitians believed 
that there were two places for departed spirits : 
one called Roohutu noanoa, or sweet-scented 
Roohutu, which in many points resembled the 
paradise of the Rarotongans ; and the other was 
Roohutu namu-namua, or foul-scented Roohutu, 
their description of which is too disgusting to be 
inserted here. The Rarotongans represented 
their paradise as a very long house, encircled 
with beautiful shrubs and flowers, which never 
lost their bloom or fragrance, and whose in- 
mates enjoyed unwithering beauty and perpetual 
youth. These passed their days, without wea- 
riness or alloy, in dancing, festivity, and merri- 
ment. This was their heaven, and the highest 
point to which their conceptions of blessedness 
had attained. Christian, turn your thoughts 
for a moment to the heaven of purity and bliss 
which the Bible unveils to your view, and learn 
the extent of your mercies. The hell of the 
Rarotongans consisted in their being compelled 
to crawl round this house, observing the plea- 
sures of its inmates, while racked with intense 
but vain desires of admittance and enjoyment. 
It appeared to me, from the limited information 
I could obtain upon the subject, that the heaven 
of the Samoa islanders nearly resembled that of 
the Rarotongans. 

The terms of entrance to this paradise, and 
the reasons of exclusion from it, were entirely 
ceremonial, and monstrously absurd. The 
natives appear not to have formed a conception 
of any moral prerequisites for a future state ; and, 
indeed, this was consistent enough with the 
sensual bliss they desired, and for which no 
such preparation was requisite. In order to 
secure the admission of a departed spirit to 
future joys, the corpse was dressed in the best 
attire the relatives could provide, the head was 
wreathed with flowers, and other decorations 
were added. A pig was then baked whole, and 
placed upon the body of the deceased, sur- 
rounded by a pile of vegetable food. After 
this, supposing the departed person to have 
been a son, the father would thus address the 



corpse : "My son, when you were alive I 
treated you with kindness, and when you were 
taken ill I did my best to restore you to health ; 
and now you are dead, there's your momoe o, or 
property of admission. Go, my son, and with 
that gain an entrance into the palace of Tiki,* 
and do not come to this Avorld again to disturb 
and alarm us." The whole would then be 
buried ; and, if they received no intimation to 
the contrary within a few days of the interment, 
the relatives believed that the pig and the other 
food had obtained for him the desired admit- 
tance. If, however, a cricket was heard on the 
premises, it was considered an ill omen ; and 
they would immediately utter the most dismal 
howlings, and such expressions as the follow- 
ing : " Oh, our brother ! his spirit has not 
entered the paradise ; he is suffering from 
hunger, he is shivering with cold !" Forthwith 
the grave would be opened, and the offering 
repeated. This was generally successful. 

The Fiji islanders present more costly sacri- 
fices. There the chiefs have from twenty to a 
hundred wives, according to their rank : and, at 
the interment of a principal chief, the body is 
laid in state upon a spacious lawn, in the pre- 
sence of an immense concourse of spectators. 
The principal wife, after the utmost ingenuity 
of the natives has been exercised in adorning 
her person, then walks out and takes her seat 
near the body of her husband, when a rope is 
passed round her neck, which eight or ten pow- 
erful men pull with all their strength until she 
is strangled and dies. Her body is then laid by 
that of the chief. This done, a second wife 
comes and seats herself in the same place. The 
process is repeated, and she also dies. A third 
and a fourth become voluntary sacrifices in the 
same manner : and all of them are then interred 
in a common grave, one above, one below, and 
one on either side of the husband. The reasons 
assigned for this are, that the spirit of the chief 
may not be lonely in its passage to the invisible 
world, and that by such an offering its happiness 
may be at once secured. Thus gross and horri- 
ble is the darkness that covers the earth. 

Infanticide. This practice did not prevail 
either at the Navigators or Hervey groups ; but 
the extent to which it was carried at the Tahi- 
tian and Society Islands almost exceeds credi- 
bility. Of this, however, I may enable the 
reader to form some estimate by selecting a few 
out of numberless cucumstances which have 
come within my own knowledge. Generally, I 
may state that, in the last mentioned group, I 
never conversed with a female that had borne 
children prior to the introduction of Christianity, 
who had not destroyed some of them, and fre- 
quently as many as from five to ten. During 
the visit of the Deputation, our respected friend, 
G. Bennett, Esq., was our guest for three or four 
months ; and, on one occasion, while conversing 
on the subject, he expressed a wish to obtain 
accurate knowledge of the exten! to which this 
cruel system had prevailed. Three women were 
sitting in the room at the time, making Euro- 

The name of the god of this paradise. 

pean garments, under Mrs. W.'s direction ; and, 
after replying to Mr. Bennett's inquiries, I said, 
" I have no doubt but that each of these women 
have destroyed some of their children." Look- 
ing at them with an expression of surprise and 
incredulity, Mr. B. exclaimed, " Impossible ! 
such motherly, respectable women* could never 
have been guilty of so great an atrocity." 
" Well," I added, " we '11 ask them." Address- 
ing the first, I said to her, " Friend, how many 
children have you destroyed % " She was startled 
at my question, and at first charged me with 
unkindness, in harrowing up her feelings by 
bringing the destruction of her babes to her re- 
membrance ; but, upon hearing the object of 
my inquiry, she replied, with a faltering voice, 
" I have destroyed nine." The second, with 
eyes suffused with tears, said, " I have destroyed 
seven;" and a third informed us that she had 
destroyed five. Thus three individuals, casually 
selected, had killed one-and-twenty children ! 
but I am happy to add that these mothers were, 
at the time of this conversation, and continued 
to be, so long as I knew them, consistent mem- 
bers of the (hurch under my care. 

On another occasion, I was called to visit the 
wife of a chief in dying circumstances. She 
had professed Christianity for many years, had 
learned to read when nearly sixty, and was a 
very active teacher in our adult school. In the 
prospect of death, she sent a pressing request 
that I would visit her immediately ; and, on 
entering her apartment, she exclaimed, " Oh, 
servant of God! come and tell me what I must 
do." Perceiving that she was suffering great 
mental distress, I inquired the cause of it ; when 
she replied, " I am about to die, I am about to 
die." "Well," I rejoined, "if it be so, what 
creates this agony of mind % " " Oh, my sins, 
my sins ! " she cried ; " I am about to die." I 
then inquired what the particular sins were 
which so greatly distressed her ; when she ex- 
claimed, " Oh, my children, my murdered chil- 
dren '. I am about to die, and I shall meet them 
all at the judgment-seat of Christ." Upon this 
I inquired how many children she had destroyed ; 
and to my astonishment, she replied, " I have 
destroyed sixteen ! and now I am about to die." 
As soon as my feelings would allow me, I began 
to reason with her, and urged the consideration 
that she had done this when a heathen, and 
during "the times of ignorance, which God 
winked at;" but this afforded her no consola- 
tion, and again she gave vent to her agonised 
feelings by exclaiming, " Oh, my children, my 
children '." 1 then directed her to " the faithful 
saying, which is worthy of all acceptation, that 
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sin- 
ners." This imparted a little comfort ; and, 
after visiting her frequently, and directing her 
thoughts to that blood which cleanseth from all 
sin, I succeeded, by the blessing of God, in 
tranquillizing her troubled spirit ; and she died 

* It is a fact which I have often observed, and one 
worthy of special notice, that the influence of religion is 
manifested not only in the character but even in the 
countenance, by changing the wild and vacant stare of 
the savage into the mild expression of tha Christian. 



about eight days after my first interview, ani- 
mated with the hope, " that her sins, though 
many, would all be forgiven her." And what 
but the Gospel could have brought such conso- 
lation % 1 believe that, without the grand truth 
of pardon by the blood of Christ, I might have 
reasoned with her from that time to the 
present in vain. But I forbear all comment ; 
for if such facts fail to demonstrate the value of 
missions, no observations of mine will do so. 

Frequently have our feelings been most 
powerfully excited, at the examination of our 
school children ; and scenes more affecting than 
some which have been witnessed on such oc- 
casions it is scarcely possible to conceive. One 
of these, which occurred at my own station at 
Raiatea, I will briefly describe. Upwards of 
six hundred children were present. A feast 
was prepared for them, and they walked through 
the settlement in procession, most of them 
dressed in European garments, with little hats 
and bonnets made by those very parents who 
would have destroyed them, had not Christianity 
come to their rescue. The children added much 
to the interest of the day. by preparing flags 
with such mottoes as the following: " What a 
blessing the Gospel is !" " The Christians of 
England sent us the Gospel." " Had it not 
been for the Gospel, we should have been de- 
stroyed as soon as we were born." On some, texts 
of Scripture were inscribed : "Behold the Lamb 
of God which taketh away the sins of the world ;" 
" Suffer little children to come unto me ;" and 
other similar passages. Insensible indeed must 
he have been, who could have witnessed such a 
scene without the liveliest feelings of delight. 
After proceeding through the settlement, they 
were conducted to the spacious chapel, and 
opened service by singing the Jubilee hymn in 
the native language. The venerable old king 
then took the chair. He had been worshipped 
as a god, and had led fierce warriors to the 
" battle and the fight," but he evidently felt 
that he had never occupied a station so de- 
lightful or honourable as that of presiding at 
the examination of the children of his people. 
These were placed in the centre of the chapel, 
and the parents occupied the outer seats. Each 
class was then called up and examined, and, 
after this, individuals from the different classes 
were selected, and questioned by the Missionary. 
"While this was proceeding, the appearance of 
the parents was most affecting. The eyes of 
some were gleaming with delight, as the father 
said to the mother, or the mother to the father, 
" What a mercy it is that we spared our dear 
girl !" Otners, with saddened countenances, 
and faltering voices, lamented in bitterness that 
they had not saved theirs ; and the silent tear, 
as it stole down the cheeks of many, told the 
painful tale that all their children were de- 
stroyed. In the midst of our proceedings, a 
venerable chieftain, grey with age, arose, and 
with impassioned look and manner, exclaimed, 
" Let me speak ; I must speak '." On obtain- 
ing permission, he thus proceeded, " Oh that I 
had known that the Gospel was coming! oh 
that I had known that these blessings were in 

store for us, then I should have saved my chil- 
dren, and they would have been among this 
happy group, repeating these precious truths ; 
but, alas ! 1 destroyed them all, I have not one 
left." * Turning to the chairman, who was 
also a relative, he stretched out his arm, and 
exclaimed, " You, my brother, saw me kill 
child after child, but you never seized this mur- 
derous hand, and said, ' Stay, brother, God is 
about to bless us ; the Gospel of salvation is 
coming to our shores.' " Then he cursed the 
gods which they formerly worshipped, and 
added, " It was you that infused this savage 
disposition into us, and now I shall die child- 
less, although I have been the father of nineteen 
children." After this he sat down, and in a 
flood of tears gave vent to his agonised feel- 

This scene occurred in my own place of wor- 
ship. I saw the man, and heard him utter 
these expressions. I shall leave the fact to 
speak for itself. Many other instances equally 
affecting might be added, but I shall content 
myself with mentioning but one more. This 
related to a chief woman, who had been united 
in marriage to a man of inferior rank ; and it 
was the universal custom to destroy the children 
of such an union. The first babe was born and 
put to death. The father wished the second to 
be spared, but the mother, and the mother's 
relatives, demanded its destruction. The third 
was a fine girl. The father pleaded and en- 
treated that it might be saved, for his bowels 
yearned over it, but the mother, and the mother's 
relatives, again carried their point, and the babe 
was doomed to die. One of the numerous 
modes of infanticide was to put the babe in a 
hole covered with a plank to keep the earth 
from pressing it, and to leave it there to perish. 
This method was adopted in the present in- 
stance. The father happened to be in the 
mountains at the time of the child's birth and 
interment ; but, on his return, he hastened to 
the spot, opened the grave, and, finding that the 
babe was not dead, he took her up, and gave 
her in charge to his brother and sister, by whom 
she was conveyed to the island of Aimeo, about 
sevemy miles distant, where they trained her 
up. The husband died without having informed 
his wife that their daughter was still alive. 
After Christianity was embraced, the mother 
was, on one occasion, bewailing most bitterly 
the destruction of her children ; when a woman 
who happened to be present, and who was ac- 
quainted with the fact of the child's disinter- 
ment, astonished and overwhelmed her with 
the announcement that her daughter' had been 
saved, and was yet living at Aimeo. A short 
time after receiving this extraordinary intelli- 
gence she sailed to Aimeo, and, on reaching the 
shore, hurried with excited feelings to the house 
of her relatives, and, as she approached it, be- 
held with wonder and delight a fine young girl 

* This chief was an airoi of the highest rank, and the 
laws of his class required the destruction of all his chil- 
dren. In this infamous society there were a variety of 
orders, not unlike those which exist among the Free- 

L 2 




standing in the doorway. At once she re- 
cognised her own image in the countenance of 
the child. It was her daughter. She clasped 
her to her bosom but I must leave imagination 
to fill up the scene as she exclaimed, " Rejoice 
with me, for this my daughter was dead and is 
alive again." The mother is gone to her rest, 
but her daughter is, at the present time, an 
active teacher in our schools, and a consistent 
I member of a Christian church ! 

The reasons assigned for this inhuman prac- 
tice afford an affecting comment upon that pas- 
sage. " The dark places of the earth are full of 
the habitations of cruelty." The first cause 
alleged was their wars. These were so fre- 
quent, sudden, and desolating, that mothers 
have often told me that, to avoid the horrors 
and distress thus entailed on those who had 
families, they destroyed many of their children. 
A second cause, as we have already intimated, 
was inequality of station. If a woman of rank 
was united to a man of inferior grade, the de- 
struction of two, four, or six infants was re- 
quired to raise him to an equality with her ; 
and, when this had been effected, the succeed- 
ing children were spared. 

A third reason adduced for the practice was, 
that nursing impaired the personal attractions 
of the mother, and curtailed the period during 
which her beauty would continue to bloom. 

The modes by which they perpetrated this 
deed of darkness were truly affecting. Some- 
times they put a wet cloth upon the infant's 
mouth ; at others, they pinched their little 
throats until they expired : a third method was 
to bury them alive ; and a fourth was, if pos- 
sible, still more brutal. The moment the child 
was born, they broke the first joints of its fingers 
and toes, and then the second. If the infant 
survived this agonizing process, they dislocated 
its ankles and the wrists ; and, if the powers 
of endurance still continued, the knee and elbow 
joints were then broken. This would generally 
terminate the tortures of the little sufferer ; but 
if not, they would resort to the second method 
of strangulation. We had a servant in cur em- 
ploy for fifteen years, who previously performed 
infanticide as her trade ; and we have many 
times listened with feelings of the deepest agony, 
while she has described the manner in which 
she perpetrated the horrid deed. 

What a truly affecting picture do these facts 
exhibit of human nature, where the light of 
Divine truth has not beamed upon its darkness 
where the religion of the Gospel has not 
exercised its benign influence ! They show that 
the sun may shine for ages, with all its bound- 
less beneficence, and yet fail to kindle in man 
a spirit of benevolence ; that the earth may pour 
forth her abundance, and not teach man kind- 
ness ; that, the brute creation, impelled only by 
instinct, may exhibit parental fondness, and man 
fail to learn the lesson. By no species of in- 
genuity could we instruct the beast of the field 
thus barbarously to destroy their young. Even 
the ferocious tiger prowls the forest for their 
support, and the savage bear will fearlessly meet 
death in their defence. But the facts now stated 

are only in harmony with innumerable others, 
which prove that in every place, and under all 
circumstances, men need the Gospel. Whether 
you find them upon the pinnacle of civilization, 
or in the vortex of barbarism ; inhabiting the 
densely-populated cities of the East, or roaming 
the wilds of an African wilderness ; whether on 
the wide continent, or the fertile islands of the 
sea ; surrounded by the icy barriers of the poles, 
or basking beneath a tropical sun ; all need the 
Gospel ; and nothing but the Gospel can elevate 
them from the degradation into which they have 
been sunk by superstition and sin. You may 
introduce among them the arts and sciences, 
and by these means refine their taste, and ex- 
tend the sphere of their intellectual vision ; you 
may convey to them our unrivalled constitution, 
modified and adapted to their peculiar circum- 
stances, and thus throw a stronger safeguard 
around their persons and property, and elevate 
them from a state of barbarous vassalage to the 
dignity and happiness of a free people ; but, if 
you withhold the Gospel, you leave them still 
under the dominion of a demoralizing and san- 
guinary superstition, aliens from God, and igno- 
rant of the great scheme of redemption through 
his Son. 

Let science, then, go with her discoveries ; 
and philosophy, with her wisdom ; and law, 
with her equitable sanctions and social benefits ; 
and let them exert their united influence to 
bless and elevate our degraded world ; but let 
it be the honour and ambition of the Christian 
to convey that glorious gostel, by which alone 
the regeneration and happiness of mankind can 
be fully and permanently secured. 


Providential Interpositions at the Samoas RapidProgrcss 
of the Gospel Debates on the subject Native Argu- 
ments Kxtraordinary Preparation of the People 
Raroionga Striking Contrast between its Condition in 
1823 and 1834 Kecent Intelligence from Mr. Pitman 
Various Temporal Advantages of Missionary Labours 
Useful Arts Animal and Vegetable Productions in- 
troduced into the Islands Prospective Advantages 
Connexion of Christianity aud Civilization Com- 
mercial Benefit of Missions Safety to Shipping 
Dangers to which Seamen are exposed where there are 
no Missionaries Instances Missions commended to 
the Statesman The Philosopher The Nobleman. 

Befoke bringing my Narrative to a conclusion, 
I cannot forbear offering a few observations 
upon the occurrences I have narrated. And, in 
the first place, I would refer to the gracious in- 
terpositions of Divine Providence, which so 
remarkably prepared and prospered our way at 
the Navigators' Islands. Is it possible to re- 
flect upon the manner in which Mrs. Williams 
gave her consent to the enterprise to our 
meeting with the chief at Tongatabu to 
the death of Tamafainga and to other strik- 
ing particulars already narrated, without ex- 
claiming, " Here is evidence of something 
more than accident : this is the finger of God!" 
When a Missionary is called to select a suitable 
place at which to commence his work of mercy, 
it is essential that he should possess correct and 



extensive information upon a variety of topics 
such as, the character and habits of the people ; 
the influence of the chiefs ; the feelings of dif- 
ferent parties ; the relative importance of places, 
&c. Upon all these, in reference to the Navi- 
gators' Islands, we were totally ignorant, until 
we met with Fauea at Tongatabu, who gave 
us correct and ample information upon every 
point. In addition to this, he conducted us to 
his relative, Malietoa, whom otherwise we should 
not have known ; and, with the knowledge I 
have subsequently obtained, his station appears 
to me to have been the best adapted in the 
whole group for the commencement of our 
labours. The rapidity of the work is another 
circumstance of too great importance to be over- 
looked. Wherever I went 1 was received with 
the greatest respect, and all classes manifested 
a desire for Missionaries. How different were 
the circumstances of the brethren at Tahiti ! 
what years of toil and anxiety they endured 
before this desire was created ; and at New 
Zealand, also, to what privations, labours, and 
perils, were the devoted Missionaries of the 
Church Missionary Society called for nearly 
twenty years, before anything like a general desire 
for instruction was evinced by the inhabitants. 
At the Navigators, on the contrary, in less than 
twenty short months chapels were erected, and 
the people anxiously waiting for instruction. 
Our Saviour has taught us to appreciate the 
importance of this state of a people, under the 
beautiful similitude of a corn-field "white unto 
the harvest." I would by no means affirm that 
many, or even that any, of the Samoans had ex- 
perienced a change of heart, neither do I believe 
that, in the majority of the people, the desire 
for Missionaries arose from a knowledge of the 
spiritual character and supreme excellency of 
the Gospel ; for, doubtless, they were actuated 
by various motives. Some thought that, by 
their embracing Christianity, vessels would be 
induced to visit them ; others imagined that 
thus they would be preserved from the malignity 
of their gods ; many hoped by adopting the new 
religion to prolong their lives ; and a few valued 
it chiefly as a means of terminating their san- 
guinary and desolating wars. Some were un- 
doubtedly convinced of the folly and supersti- 
tion of their own religious system ; and a few 
had indistinct ideas of the soul and salvation. 
But, as the natives held numerous meetings for 
several months to consider this subject, at which 
it was debated with all becoming gravity, an 
account of one of these may enable the reader 
to judge for himself. On this occasion there 
was a large concourse of people ; when a vene- 
rable chief arose and said, " It is my wish 
that the Christian religion should become uni- 
versal amongst us. I look," continued he, "at 
the wisdom of these worshippers of Jehovah, 
and see how superior they are to us in every 
respect. Their ships are like floating houses, 
so that they can traverse the tempest-driven 
ocean for months with perfect safety ; whereas, 
if a breeze blow upon our canoes, they are in an 
instant upset, and we sprawling in the sea. 
Their persons also are covered from head to 

foot in beautiful clothes, while we wear nothing 
but a girdle of leaves. Their axes are so hard 
and sharp, that, with them, we can easily fell 
our trees and do our work, but with our stone 
axes we must dub, dub, dub, day after day, be- 
fore we can cut down a single tree. Their 
knives, too, what valuable things they are ! 
how quickly they cut up our pigs, compared 
with our bamboo knives ! Now I conclude that 
the God who has given to his white worshippers 
these valuable things must be wiser than our 
gods, for they have not given the like to us. 
We all want these articles ; and my proposition 
is, that the God who gave them should be our 
God." As this speech produced a powerful 
impression, a sensible priest, after a short 
pause, arose and endeavoured to weaken it by 
savin;' that he had nothing to advance against 
the lotu, which might be good or bad, but he 
wished them not to be in haste. " The people 
who have brought us this religion," he added, 
" may want our lands and our women. I do 
not say that such is the case, but it may be so. 
My brother has praised the wisdom of these 
white foreigners. Suppose, then, we were to 
visit their country, and say that Jehovah was 
not the true God, and invite them to cast him 
off, and become worshippers of Tangaroa, of the 
Samoa Islands, what reply would they make ? 
Would they not say, Don't be in haste ; let us 
know something more of Tangaroa, and the 
worship he requires 1 ? Now I wish the Samoans 
to act just as these wise English people would, 
under the same circumstances ; and to know 
something more about this new religion before 
they abandon that which our ancestors vene- 
rated." But, whatever might have been their 
motives, it is certain that the new religion was 
highly esteemed by all classes ; that the desire 
for Missionaries was intense ; that at many 
stations the people had erected places of wor- 
ship ; were accustomed to prepare their food on 
the Saturday, and to assemble at six o'clock on 
the Sabbath morning, sit in silence for an hour 
or more, and repeat this a second, and even a 
third time, during the day. Does the history 
of the church furnish a more striking or beauti- 
ful fulfilment of the prophetic declaration, " The 
isles shall wait for his law I" So anxious, in- 
deed, were the people for some one to cdnduct 
their religious services, that they made collec- 
tions of mats, food, &c, which they gave to 
runaway sailors, some of whom read portions 
of the English Scriptures or prayer-book ; and 
others were vile enough to sing infamous songs 
in the English language, and to assure the poor 
people that this was the worship acceptable to 

In reference also to Rarotonga, I cannot for- 
bear drawing a contrast between the state of 
the inhabitants when I first visited them, in 
1823, and that in which I left them, in 1834. 
In 1823 I found them all heathens; in 1834 
they were all professing Christians. At the 
former period I found them with idols and ma- 
raes ; these, in 1834, were destroyed, and, in 
their stead, there were three spacious and sub- 
stantial places of Christian worship, in which 

L 3 



congregations, amounting to six thousand per- 
sons, assembled every Sabbath-day; I found 
them without a written language, and left them 
reading in their own tongue the " wonderful 
works of God." I found them without a know- 
ledge of the Sabbath ; and when I left them no 
manner of work was done during that sacred 
day. When I found them, in 1823, they were 
ignorant of the nature of Christian worship ; 
and when I left them, in 1834, I am not aware 
that there was a house in the island where 
family prayer was not observed every morning 
and every evening. I speak not this boastingly ; 
for our satisfaction arises not from receiv- 
such honours, but in casting them at 
Saviour's feet; "for his arm hath got- 
him the victory," and " He shall bear 


What has been said of Rarotonga is equally 
applicable to the whole Hervey Island group ; 
for, with the exception of a few at Mangaia, I 



believe there does not remain a single idolater, 
or vestige of idolatry, in any one of the islands. 
I do not assert, I would not intimate, that all 
the people are real Christians; but I merely 
state the delightful fact, that the inhabitants of 
this entire group have, in the short space of ten 
years, abandoned a dark, debasing, and sangui- 
nary idolatry, with all its horrid rites ; and it 
does appear to me that, if nothing more had 
been effected, this alone would compensate for 
all the privations, and labours, and expense by 
which it has been effected. 

I am happy to add that, a short time since, I 
received letters from Messrs. Buzacott and Pit- 
man, which inform me that the people are in a 
still more pleasing state than when I left them. 
But I will allow my brethren to speak for them- 
selves. After giving me a full account of 
Papeiha's prosperity, of whom he sent the 
accompanying likeness, Mr. Buzacott writes 
thus, in reference to his own station : 

" I am truly happy to inform you that we are 
still in a pleasing state of prosperity. The ex- 
citement* which commenced when you were 
with us still continues, and, although we have 
been disappointed in some instances, yet our 
most sanguine expectations have been more 
than realized. All the members of our churches 
continue stedfast, and their zeal in visiting the 
sick, and endeavouring to do all the good they 
can, affords us much pleasure. You will be 
delighted to hear that Makea, we hope, is a 

* This was partly produced by a very interesting inci- 
dent Many of the people had become slack in their 
attendance on the Sabbath-day, and the chiefs sent a 
message to inform us that they were about to send the 
constables to make the people come to worship. It being, 
however, contrary to our views to allow coercion, we 
replied by requesting them not to do so, but to allow us 
to try some other method. The most pious and active 
Christians were immediately selected, who appropriated 
Saturday for the purpose of visiting every house, to hold 
religious conversation with the inmates. This was so 
exceedingly successful, that the chiefs have never since 
proposed to send the constables. 

decided Christian. He has continued for a 
long time past to manifest a deep concern for 
his eternal interests, and gave a most pleasing 
and satisfactory account of his conversion and 
religious experience at our last church meet- 
ing, when he was regularly admitted to mem- 

Mr. Buzacott, with a camera obscura made 
by himself, has taken and forwarded to me the 
accompanying likeness of Makea. 

Mr. B. continues to observe " that the 
greatest harmony and peace prevail in the 
island, and we hope that very many are seeking 
the best things, and that the word preached is 
' a savour of life unto life.' 

" We have nearly finished another new cha- 
pel. It is intended to be opened next week. 
It is upon the same plan as the one which fell 
in the memorable hurricane. It is, however, 
much firmer. Nothing has been spared to 
make it secure, either in work, or iron, or tim- 




" I send you a specimen of our printing.* 
Ono makes an excellent printer. He takes off 
the whole of the work from me, and what he 
does requires very little correction. He has 
printed the hymns entirely himself." 

Every part of Mr. Pitman's letter is so truly 
interesting, that I scarcely know what portion 
to extract from it. He observes, 

" I know it will be a source of great pleasure 
to you to hear that the cause of Christ is pros- 
pering amongst us ; all is harmony, and things 
wear a more pleasing aspect than ever. We 
have numerous candidates and inquirers, many 
of whom have been admitted into our little 
church. Among those you will be glad to hear 
is Fa, who, I hope, is sincere in giving himself 
up to the Lord. On being admitted, he gave 
pleasing testimony to the work of grace, which I 
hope will prove to have been the genuine feel- 
ings of his heart. The admission of members 
is a source of great anxiety. "We take, however, 
every possible precaution to prevent the entrance 
of hypocrites. 

" The change at our out-station is truly 
astonishing. The trouble the Tupuna people 
have ever given you know by experience ; now 
they are peaceable and quiet ; diligent in their 
attendance on Divine worship, and at the 
schools ; and very active in everything that is 
proposed for their welfare. They have erected a 
nice chapel, and invited our good friend Irof 
to become our minister. 

* Mr. Buzacott obtained an old press from one of the 
original stations, and some old type, both of which he 
repaired, and, having taught himself printing, then 
instructed the native youth of whom he speaks. 

t A truly excellent Christian, a brother of Tupe, the 
chief judge. _ 

" Tupe, the judge, is an invaluable assistant 
to me in my labours. He has but little, very 
little, to do, in his official capacity. 

" Mr. Armitage has been exceedingly active 
since his arrival here He has made looms and 
spinning wheels for each of the stations, and 
taught the people weaving. The concern is 
going on well. About 350 yards of strong cali- 
co have been wove. We shall use every endea- 
vour to make it answer. 

" Our schools still continue to prosper. At 
Titi Kaveka we have nearly 500 children. Not- 
withstanding which, when I counted those in 
my own school yesterday morning, there were 
1034 fifty-six were absent." 

Mr. Buzacott also informs me that his school 
contained nearly a thousand children, and Pa- 
peiha's about seven hundred ; so that, in the 
island of Rarotonga only, there are upwards of 
three thousand children daily receiving Christian 
instruction. Thus may the word of the Lord 
run and be glorified, until the natural beauties 
of every island in the Pacific shall be surpassed 
by the moral triumphs of the Gospel. 

In reference to the islands generally it may be 
observed, that the blessings conveyed to them by 
Christianity have not been simply of a spiritual 
character; but that civilization and commerce 
have invariably followed in her train. This, I 
think, must have appeared throughout the Narra- 
tive, and will, perhaps, be still more evident by 
the following concise enumeration of the useful 
arts, the animals, and the vegetable produc- 
tions, which have been introduced by the Mis- 
sionaries into the various stations they have 



Useful Arts. 

Smith's work. 
House building. 
Ship building. 
Lime burning. 



A variety of valu- Goats. 

able esculents. Sheep. 

Pumpkins, melons, Horses. 

sweet potatoes, Asses. 

&c. &c. Cattle and pigs 


into several 
Turkeys, geese, 
ducks, and 

Sofa, chair, and Oranges 
bedstead making. limes. 

Growth and ma- Pine apples. 

nufacture of to- Custard apples. 

bacco. Coffee. 

Sugar boiling. Cotton. 

Tinting. Indigo. 

Upon these statements a few observations 
may be necessary. In communicating to the 
people the useful arts specified above, I have 
spent many hundreds of hours, not merely in ex- 
plaining and superintending the different pro- 
cesses, but in actual labour. For this, however, 
I have been amply repaid by the great progress 
which the natives have made in many of these 
departments of useful knowledge, but especially 
in building small vessels of from twenty to fifty 
tons. More than twenty of these were sailing 
from island to island when I left, two of which 
belonged to the queen, and were employed in 
fetching cargoes of pearl, and pearl shells, from 
a group of islands to the eastward of Tahiti. 
These wsre exchanged with the English and 
American vessels for clothing and other ar- 

The manufacture of sugar is increasing ra- 
pidly. I speak within compass when I say that, 
during the year I left, upwards of a hundred 
tons were exported from Tahiti only. The 
culture of tobacco was completely stopped, as I 
have already stated, by the prohibitory duty 
which the selfish and short-sighted merchants of 
New South Wales persuaded the Governor to 
impose upon that article. 

Cattle were left by Captain Cook at Tahiti, 
but they perished ; and those from which 
the islands have been stocked were conveyed by 
the Missionaries. When I visited New South 
Wales, His Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane 
kindly gave me several. Some of these our 
invaluable friend, the Rev. S. Marsden, ex- 
changed for others of his best Yorkshire breed, 
which have multiplied exceedingly at Raiatea 
and Rarotonga. 

Several of the vegetable productions were in- 
troduced by Captain Cook, and we have not 
only added many others, but conveyed those 
left by him to islands which he did not 
visit. Wheat cannot be grown in the islands. 
English potatoes will not propagate themselves. 
Cabbages do not seed, but we can preserve 
them by planting the sprouts. We have tried 
many of the English fruits, but without success. 
A solitary strawberry once came to perfection, 
and we divided the precious morsel into three 
portions ; Mrs. Williams, myself, and our son 
taking each a share. Seeds of the indigo-plant 
were furnished us by Captain Laws, of H. M. 
sloop Satellite, and we doubt not but that this 
will shortly become an article of great commer- 
cial importance. Coffee-plants were conveyed 
by the Missionary ship Haweis from Norfolk 
Island, and are now growing luxuriantly. Se- 

veral of the trees have borne for some time 
past, and I firmly believe that, in a few years, 
cargoes of coffee as well as of arrow-root, cocoa- 
nut oil, and sugar, will be shipped by our con- 
verts at the Missionary stations in the South 
Sea Islands. Ought not a great and mighty 
nation like England, with the generosity which 
is allied to true greatness, to put forth her hand, 
and help her infant offspring, who have been 
raised from barbarism, and brought into na- 
tional existence, by the benevolent efforts of 
her own subjects, especially as her own beloved 
sovereign is styled the Protector of the Poly- 
nesian Isles'? 

From these facts it will be apparent, that, 
while our best energies have been devoted to 
the instruction of the people in the truths of 
the Christian religion, and our chief solicitude 
has been to make them wise unto salvation, 
we have, at the same time, been anxious to im- 
part a knowledge of all that was calculated to 
increase their comforts and elevate their cha- 
racter. And I am convinced that the first step 
towards the promotion of a nation's temporal 
and social elevation, is to plant amongst them 
the tree of life, when civilization and commerce 
will entwine their tendrils around its trunk, 
and derive support from its strength. Until the 
people are brought under the influence of reli- 
gion, they have no desire for the arts and usages 
of civilized life ; but that invariably creates it. 
The Missionaries were at Tahiti many years, 
during which they built and furnished a house 
in European style. The natives saw this, but 
not an individual imitated their example. As 
soon, however, as they were brought under the 
influence of Christianity, the chiefs, and even 
the common people, began to build neat plas- 
tered cottages, and to manufacture bedsteads, 
seats, and other articles of furniture. The fe- 
males had long observed the dress of the Mis- 
sionaries' wives, but while heathen they greatly 
preferred their own, and there was not a single 
attempt at imitation. No sconer, however, 
were they brought under the influence of reli- 
gion, than all of them, even to the lowest, as- 
pired to the possession of a gown, a bonnet, and 
a shawl, that they might appear like Christian 
women. I could proceed to enumerate many 
other changes of the same kind, but these will 
be sufficient to establish my assertion. While 
the natives are under the influence of their su- 
perstitions, they evince an inanity and torpor, 
from which no stimulus has proved powerful 
enough to arouse them but the new ideas and 
the new principles imparted by Christianity. 
And if it be not already proved, the experience 
of a few more years will demonstrate the fact, 
that the Missionary enterprise is incomparably 
the most effective machinery that has ever been 
brought to operate upon the social, the civil, 
and the commercial, as well as the moral and 
spiritual interests of mankind. 

Nor are the heathen the only parties benefited 
by such exertions. The whole civilized world, 
and our own countrymen especially, share the 
advantages. Without dwelling upon the im- 
proved state of religion in our churches ; the 


holy and elevated feelings which have been 
called into exercise ; the noble instances of 
Christian benevolence which have been dis- 
played ; and. the reflex influence of the mis- 
sionary enterprise upon home exertions ; we 
may simply glance at the commercial advan- 
tages which have resulted and are still resulting 
from these labours. In the South Sea Islands 
alone, many thousands of persons are at this 
moment wearing and using articles of European 
manufacture, by whom, a few years ago, no 
such article had been seen : indeed, in the more 
advanced stations, there is scarcely an individual 
who is not attired in English clothing, which 
has been obtained in exchange for native pro- 
duce. Thus we are benefited both in what we 
give and in what we receive. From a barbarous 
people very little can be obtained, and even 
that at the greatest possible hazard. When a 
vessel enters their harbours, every precaution 
must be employed. She is encircled with net- 
ting half way up the rigging, her guns are 
loaded, and every person on board is obliged to 
be on the alert, fearing an attack, and not 
knowing the moment at which it may be made. 

Besides these dangers, the natives, in a bar- 
barous state, possess not the knowledge requi- 
site for turning the capabilities and productions 
of their islands to good account. The sugar- 
cane was indigenous to Tahiti ; but it is only 
since the inhabitants have been Christianized, 
and taught by the Missionaries, that they have 
manufactured sugary and thus converted the 
cane into a valuable article of commerce. At 
present, the Samoa islanders have nothing to 
dispose of but a little cinet,* and small quanti- 
ties of tortoiseshell. In a very few years, how- 
ever, should our labours be successful, they 
will be taught to prepare hundreds of tons of 
cocoa-nut oil, and large quantities of arrow- 
root, annually ; to manufacture sugar ; to culti- 
vate their land ; and to supply our shipping 
with provisions. Thus, wherever the Mis- 
sionary goes, new channels are cut for the 
stream of commerce ; and to me it is most sur- 
prising that any individual at all interested in 
the commercial prosperity of his country can be 
otherwise than a warm friend to the Missionary 

The shipping of our country, too, derives as 
much advantage from missions as its commerce. 
This will appear if it be recollected that inter- 
course between Europeans and the untaught 
islanders of the Pacific is always dangerous, and 
has often proved fatal. The adventurous Ma- 
gellan fell at the Ladrone Islands; Captain 
Cook was barbarously murdered at the Sand- 
wich group ; the ship Venus was taken at Ta- 
hiti ; M. de Langle and his companions were 
killed at the Samoas ; the Port au Prince was 
seized at Lefuga ; and the crew of the Boyd 
was massacred at New Zealand. And now at 
all these islands, with the exception of the La- 
drones, there are Missionary stations, whither 
numbers of vessels direct their course annually, 
the crews of which look forward with delight 

* Cord made from the cocoa-nut husk. 

to the hour when the anchor shall be dropped 
in the tranquil lagoons, and they find a gene- 
rous welcome and a temporary home. That 
outrages do stdl occur where there are no Mis- 
sionaries, Captain Beechy's account of his in- 
tercourse with the inhabitants of Easter and 
Gambier Islands, and the massacre of the entire 
crew of the Oldham, at Wallace's Island, with 
other similar events of more recent occurrence, 
plainly demonstrate ; whilst the fact, that, in 
those islands or ports where Missionaries are 
settled, such acts of violence have been pre- 
vented, is established by evidence equally de- 
cisive. An incident or two may illustrate these 

About two years before we left the islands, 
an individual who had been a convict, came to 
Raiatea in his own vessel ; and, having cheated 
the natives of every other island at which he 
had touched of their harbour-dues and pilotage, 
a message was sent to request our chiefs not 
to allow him to depart until they were paid. 
Acting upon this information, the native officer, 
a high-spirited young chief, refused to quit the 
vessel until he had received the dues ; when 
the captain immediately presented a loaded pis- 
tol at his head, which so exasperated him that 
he came on shore, and collected a large body of 
people, who armed themselves, and returned to 
the vessel with a full determination to be 
avenged. The whole population was roused to 
indignation, and their temper and proceedings 
were most alarming. Tamatoa, myself, and 
very many of the respectable inhabitants, were 
absent at the time ; but Mrs. Williams, having 
been informed of the circumstance, instantly 
wrote to the captain, to beg him to pay what 
was due ;* and, hastening down to the beach, 
she prevented more people from going off to 
the ship, and sent a boat with some respectable 
natives, to convey to those on board an earnest 
request from her that no violence might be of- 
fered to the captain, and that they would im- 
mediately come on shore. The work of plunder 
had commenced, and in a moment or two more 
many lives must have been sacrificed, as the 
natives were only waiting for the signal to take 
possession of the ship, and the captain was 
standing with loaded pistols ready in an instant 
to fire into a barrel of gunpowder, to blow up 
the vessel and all on board. This, however, was 
happily prevented by the prompt interference 
of even a Missionary's wife. This, I believe, is 
the only instance in which a ship has been in 
danger at any of our Missionary stations ; and 
in this case it would have been prevented, not- 
withstanding the conduct of the captain, had 
either Tamatoa or myself been at home. The 
whole affair was so instantaneous, that it had 
well nigh come to a tragical termination before 
Mrs. Williams heard of it. On the following 
day I collected the few articles which had 
been taken by the natives, and sent them after 
the vessel. 

The sum, I believe, was eight dollars, which the 
captain of his Majesty's ships thought that the native 
authorities had a right to demand for the accommodation 
which their excellent harbours afforded. 


"When my venerable brother Missionary, Mr. 
Nott, came to England, in 1825, the ship calied 
at Ua, an island near Tongatabu. Being in 
want of provisions, a boat was lowered, and the 
captain, with the chief mate and a passenger, 
approached the shore. While bartering with 
the heathen, they and their property were all 
suddenly seized. Axes were held over their 
heads, knives applied to their throats, and a 
rope with a noose hung over them, to signify 
what they must expect if they attempted to 
escape or resist. A ransom for each was then 
demanded, and the chief mate was sent to fetch 
it. During the whole of this awful night the 
captain and his friend were kept in the greatest 
terror, by a strict guard and fearful threats. In 
the morning the boat was sent with property to 
the value of 30J. or 40/., which the chief accepted 
as an equivalent for the captain, who was per- 
mitted to return to his ship ; but the passenger 
was detained until more property should be 
sent. As soon as the captain stepped on board, 
he exclaimed, " Oh, Mr. Nott, we see now, more 
than ever, what has been done by you and your 
brother Missionaries, in the islands where you 
have resided, and the labour you must have en- 
dured, in bringing the natives from what they 
once were to what they now are ! " 

A short time previous to this, the Essex 
whaler was struck by a whale and immediately 
foundered. The crew took to the boats, and were 
driven to the terrible necessity of casting lots 
for, and eating, each other. On his subsequent 
voyage, the captain of this very ship called at 
Raiatea ; and after giving me an account of the 
horrors they endured, observed that, had he then 
known the improved state of Tahiti and its ad- 
jacent islands, from which they were not distant 
above ten days' sail, he could have saved his 
crew ; but, supposing that the inhabitants were 
still savage, he thought it safer to steer for South 
America, which kept them at sea ninety days, 
and compelled them to suffer horrors and per- 
form acts, the bare recital of which can scarcely 
be endured. 

I forbear any further illustrations or remarks, 
and simply add, that in the small island of 
Huahine about thirty sail of shipping anchor 
in the course of the year; and at Tahiti, little 
short of a hundred. Here the exhausted crews 
recruit their strength, by roaming at pleasure 
amongst the luxuriant groves, and inhaling the 
fragrant air ; and here, also, the ships are sheltered, 
refitted, and supplied with stores to any extent.* 

Apart entirely from the value of Christianity, 
no enlightened statesman can regard labours 
which secure such results as those I have enu- 
merated, with indifference : for new havens are 
found at the antipodes for our fleets : new chan- 

* Cattle have increased to such an extent, that beef 
can be obtained at 2d. per pound. The natives, I regret 
to say, ia consequence of the great demand, are begin- 
ning to exact exorbitant prices. 

nels are opened for our commerce ; and the 
friends of our country are everywhere multi- 

To the fihilosopha; too, such exertions present 
their claim : for new fields of discovery have 
been opened, new regions explored, and wilds, 
previously inaccessible to the traveller, pene- 
trated by the Missionary. In addition to this, 
languages before unknown have been mastered 
and reduced to a system ; man has been pre- 
sented under circumstances the most peculiar 
and interesting ; and new facts have been added 
to his natural and moral history. 

An enterprise, beneficial in so many ways, 
presents a universal claim ; and we hope the 
day is fast approaching when the merchant will 
not only consecrate the gains of his merchandise 
to its promotion, but when he shall also add the 
facilities which commercial intercourse affords 
to further the great design ; when the man of 
science shall make his discoveries subserve this 
godlike work ; and when not only the poor, but 
the rich and noble, will feel honoured in identi- 
fying themselves with Missionary operations, 
and in consecrating their influence, their wealth, 
and even their sons and their daughters, to this 
work. And why should not the son of a noble- 
man aspire to an office that an angelic spirit 
would deem an honour 1 Why should not such 
become active agents in an enterprise which is 
to regenerate and bless our world ? They aspire 
after military and naval glory, but here they 
may obtain distinctions far higher than these : 
here, instead of inflicting death in the acqui- 
sition of their laurels, they would scatter life 
and comfort and peace to unborn millions. 
And is there more glory in spreading misery 
than in conveying mercy 1 ? Is it more honour- 
able to carry the sword of war than the Gospel 
of peace '< Is it a higher dignity to bear a com- 
mission from an earthly sovereign than from the 
King of kings 1 Oh ! that the minds of the 
noble youth of our country could be directed to 
this field of labour and of love, and that the 
soldiers of the cross were as high in the esti- 
mation of our nobility as those who bear com- 
missions from our king. It will be a blessed 
day for our world, when the first nobleman's 
son, influenced by a spirit of piety, and con- 
strained by the " love of Christ," shall devote 
himself to go among the heathen " to turn them 
from darkness to light." But, whether such 
forward it or not, the work will go on, enlarge- 
ment and deliverance will come, until the earth, 
instead of being a theatre on which men pre- 
pare themselves by crime for eternal condemna- 
tion, shall become one universal temple to the 
living God, in which the children of men shall 
learn the anthems of the blessed above, and be 
made meet to unite with the spirits of the re- 
deemed from every nation, and people, and 
tongue, in celebrating the Jubilee of a ran- 
somed world ! 


London: Printed by William Clowbs and Sons, Stamford Street. 


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